All posts by mmillard

April 18 2024: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest


Abdelaaty, L. (2024). “The greatest and most important human right”: Citizenship and bureaucratic indifference in refugee-UNHCR correspondence. Migration Politics, 3(1). This article examines how refugees advocate for themselves with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and what responses their communications produce. It analyzes letters sent by refugees in Kenya to UNHCR headquarters in Geneva between 1983 and 1994. The findings underline a disjuncture between refugees’ efforts to constitute themselves as political agents, and UNHCR’s insistence on viewing them as depoliticized subjects. UNHCR’s responses (or lack thereof) demonstrate the consequences of its insulation and bureaucratization.

Adhyaru, J. S., & Guchait, A. (2023). Working with Afghan evacuees: Field reflections on five useful supervision questions for crisis intervention workers. Journal of Refugee Studies, 37(1), 230–239. This field reflection is a reflective dialogue between a supervisor and supervisee focusing on work with Afghan evacuees undertaken by the Centre for Anxiety, Stress & Trauma within Central and Northwest London NHS Foundation Trust. This field reflection focuses on five themes that emerged between the supervisor and supervisee during clinical supervision. The themes are posed as questions that may help others working in the context of a humanitarian crisis to utilize supervision to effectively support both staff and the target population. The reflections conclude with recommendations on how supervision can support staff well-being and, in turn, offer a supportive service to people feeling their homeland in the context of war.

Atak, I., Asalya, S., & Zyfi, J. (2024). Vulnerability of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in Toronto. Canadian Journal of Law and Society / Revue Canadienne Droit et Société, 1–22. This article examines the underlying structural elements contributing to the vulnerability experienced by asylum seekers and undocumented migrants across two critical domains: refugee eligibility examination and accessibility of essential social services, particularly healthcare. Drawing insights from fieldwork conducted in Toronto between 2020 and 2022, this article investigates how migrants navigate and perceive vulnerability encountered both at the front-end of the refugee status determination and while trying to access social services. It discusses the perspectives of key stakeholders, , shedding light on their experiences and insights regarding the challenges migrants face. Furthermore, this article critically evaluates Canada’s adherence to the principles articulated in the 2018 United Nations Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees concerning the mitigation of vulnerability among migrant populations.

Berding-Barwick, R., & McAreavey, R. (2023). Resilience and identities: The role of past, present and future in the lives of forced migrants. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 50(8), 1843–1861. This research highlights how individuals proactively make strategic choices and assume responsibility for their well-being – even if that depends on changing underlying structural issues. The authors show that, despite a hostile immigration environment, as found in the UK, individuals can act and adapt to their environment. However, this is limited to a degree. They demonstrate how time matters in personal resilience processes – both as a tactic for resilience for some and a disruptor of resilience for others.

Pettrachin, A., & Hadj Abdou, L. (2024). Beyond evidence-based policymaking? exploring knowledge formation and source effects in US migration policymaking. Policy Sciences, 57(1), 3–28. Several scholars have observed persistent gaps between policy responses to complex, ambiguous and politicized problems (such as migration, climate change and the recent Covid-19 pandemic) and evidence or ‘facts.’ While most existing explanations for this ‘evidence-policy gap’ in the migration policy field focus on knowledge availability and knowledge used by policymakers, this article shifts the focus to processes of knowledge formation, exploring the questions of what counts as ‘evidence’ for migration policymakers and what are the sources of information that shape their understandings of migration policy issues. The findings challenge scholarly claims about policymakers’ lack of access to evidence about migration. The authors also challenge claims that migration-related decision-making processes are irrational or merely driven by political interests.

van Tubergen, F., Kogan, I., Kosyakova, Y., & Pötzschke, S. (2023). Self-selection of Ukrainian refugees and displaced persons in Europe. Journal of Refugee Studies, 37(1), 72–96. The literature on migrants’ self-selection is focused on labour migrants, while little is known about refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). The researchers contribute to this scant literature by (1) examining a broad set of factors that could determine self-selection, (2) contrasting self-selection profiles of refugees and IDPs, and (3) comparing self-selection profiles of refugees across countries. Specifically, they compare the self-selection profiles of Ukrainian refugees and IDPs with stayers in the months directly following the Russian full-scale invasion in February 2022. The authors draw on unique, cross-nationally comparative data from the OneUA project. The authors found systematic empirical patterns of self-selection related to people’s region of origin, family status, and individual-level characteristics.


ICMPD Migration Outlook Mediterranean 2024 Eight migration issues to look out for in 2024. (2024). International Centre for Migration Policy Development. This report discusses 8 key migration issues expected in 2024, such as the upward trend of migratory pressure, new waves of refugees from Sudan, the securitization of migration narratives and policies, and the modernization of migration governance.

Keys to the City 2024: Ending refugee homelessness in London. (2024). Refugee Council. Homelessness and destitution among newly recognized refugees in London are on the rise. This growing crisis is a result of systemic failure – the process refugees face while transitioning through the so-called ‘move-on’ period is dysfunctional by design, and discriminatory in delivery. This report presents their  latest data and analysis showing a dramatic rise in homelessness for newly recognized refugees, based on Government data for England and figures from their own Private Rented Scheme. The report sets out recommendations for the next Mayor of London and for the Government on how to solve the crisis of destitution and homelessness among newly recognized refugees.

Neglected in the Jungle: Inadequate Protection and Assistance for Migrants and Asylum Seekers Crossing the Darién Gap. (2024). This report, part of a series of Human Rights Watch reports on migration via the Darién Gap, focuses on Colombia’s and Panama’s responses to migration across their border. It identifies specific shortcomings in their efforts to protect and assist these people—including those at higher risk, such as unaccompanied children—as well as to investigate abuses against them. The report provides concrete recommendations to the governments of Colombia and Panama on addressing these shortcomings and to donor governments, the United Nations and regional bodies, and humanitarian organizations on how to support and cooperate with Colombia and Panama in these efforts.

Supporting Immigrant and Refugee Families through Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Services. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. This issue brief highlights the importance of Infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) services for immigrant and refugee families as well as gaps in IECMH promotion, prevention, screening, and treatment that affect these families. The brief also identifies opportunities for policymakers and practitioners to improve access to IECMH services for this population.


IOM report: 1 in 3 migrant deaths occurs in transit while fleeing conflict. (2024). United Nations. The UN migration agency reported that one in three migrant deaths happens while people flee conflict,. More than two in three migrants whose deaths have been documented remain unidentified. Last year was the deadliest on record, with 8,541 migrant victims. Nearly 60 per cent of deaths were linked to drowning. So far in 2024, the trends are similar. Along the Mediterranean Sea route alone – while arrivals this year are significantly lower (16,818) compared to the same period in 2023 (26,984) – the number of deaths is nearly as high as before, with 956 registered since 1 January.

Kaldor Centre statement on new migration bill, March 26, 2024. Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law. The Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law has serious concerns about the scope and ramifications of the Migration Amendment (Removal and Other Measures) Bill 2024, which was rushed into Parliament today. It gives the Minister extraordinarily broad and ill-defined powers which would make a person’s failure to cooperate with the government’s efforts to remove them a criminal offence, expand the Minister’s powers to reverse protection findings, and see entire countries subject to travel bans, prohibiting their citizens from coming to Australia for holidays, work or education – in an attempt to pressure those countries to accept forced returns.

Myanmar Asylum Seeker Crisis Needs a Humane and Regional Solution by Perry Q. Wood, April 1, 2024. The Diplomat. Another capsized boat leading to more tragedy and death at sea. This time it is Rohingya fleeing either persecution in Myanmar or unlivable conditions in makeshift camps outside the country.  Seventy deaths and counting from the latest incident alone. The trendline for Rohingya escaping on boats to head for places like Indonesia or Australia is showing a marked increase in numbers. From 2021 to 2023, the United Nations recorded a 441 percent increase in “irregular movements” of Rohingyas seeking to escape places like Kutupalong, the world’s largest refugee camp, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Toogdag 2023 Blog Series: The Verb ‘Enjoy’ in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its Application in Africa by Cristiano D’Orsi, April 9, 2024. Human Rights Here. The right to ‘enjoy’ asylum primarily means the opportunity for refugees to benefit from the rights that are listed in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. This contribution investigates whether the right of ‘enjoying asylum’ has been translated into the African continent through the appropriate international, regional, sub-regional and domestic legal instruments. The relevance of this investigation is to understand whether and to what extent refugees hosted by the African countries can ‘enjoy’ the rights derived from their legal status of refugees.  

UNHCR urges immediate action amid heightened risks for displaced in eastern DR Congo. (2024). The UN Refugee Agency. The UNHCR Refugee Agency, is raising the alarm as ongoing violence in eastern areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reaches a devastating level. Two years of cyclical conflict in the North Kivu territories of Rutshuru and Masisi have forced over 1.3 million people to flee their homes within the DRC, leading to a total of 5.7 million people becoming internally displaced across North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces. Since violent clashes enveloped the town of Sake, in Masisi territory, on 7 February, almost 300,000 people have arrived in the city of Goma and its surroundings, swelling spontaneous and official displacement sites as they desperately seek shelter from indiscriminate bombing and other human rights abuses.

Weekly U.S.-Mexico Border Update: Mexico crackdown, no spring migration increase, Texas, Guatemala by Adam Isacson, March 29, 2024. Washington Office on Latin America. Migration at the U.S.-Mexico border usually increases in springtime. That is not happening in 2024, although numbers are up in Mexico and further south. Increased Mexican government operations to block or hinder migrants are a central reason. Especially striking is migration from Venezuela, which has plummeted at the U.S. border and moved largely to ports of entry. It is unclear why Venezuelan migration has dropped more steeply than that from other nations.

What is behind the suicides of LGBTQ+ people in refugee camps in the Netherlands? by Holod Media and Anastasia Pestova, March 30, 2024. Global Voices. In mid-January, it was reported that Antonina Babkina, a transgender girl from Russia who had been granted asylum, committed suicide in the Netherlands. This marks at least the fourth reported case of suicide among Russian-speaking refugees in the country over the past year. According to Sandro Kortekaas, a spokesperson for the Dutch organization LGBTQ Asylum Support, all suicide cases have one thing in common: the victims did not receive psychological support on time. Kortekaas said, “Most refugees come from countries with a huge number of problems. Ideally, there should be a medical evaluation upon their arrival in the Netherlands and another before the refugee interview.”


Practical and Compassionate Alternatives to Detention: Catalyst Lecture and Workshop by Exeter Research Networks. Working with the Detention Forum, a network of over 50 NGOs across the UK challenging the use of immigration detention, the Universities of Exeter and Leeds are holding a lecture and workshop on the growing evidence base from projects in the UK and internationally suggesting that there is a more effective, compassionate and cheaper alternative available. This evidence base includes two Home Office funded pilot projects. This lecture will examine this alternative case management model in the community, and how it presents a compelling case for a new operating model for the UK’s asylum and immigration system. This online event will be on April 23, 2024 from 8:30 AM EDT – 10:00 AM EDT.

Scholars of Excellence Workshop – The “integration business”: A radical critique on migration, development and reception services by Toronto Metropolitan University. The workshop is organized into two panels. The first focuses on the local aspects of this migration industry in both border areas and settlement locations, critically analyzing the ways locals, settled migrants and recently arrived asylum seekers, refugees or migrants become entangled in forms of service provision that extract capital and constitute multi-scalar processes of governance. The second panel expands this critical perspective by engaging with the broader policy and political discourses on migration and development. Contributors to both panels seek to unmask the processes of capital accumulation that underlie the regulation of mobility, territory, social life and political subjectivities. This hybrid event takes place on April 23, 2024 from 9:30 AM EDT – 4:00 PM EDT.

April 4 2024: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest


Abou-Ismail, R., Gronfeldt, B., & Marinthe, G. (2024b). Defensive National Identity relates to support for collective violence, in contrast to secure national identity, in a sample of displaced Syrian diaspora members. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 99, 101954. This paper examines whether national identities in Syrian diaspora members shape attitudes towards the regime at home. The authors contrast national narcissism (i.e., defensive national identity), an exaggerated belief in one’s national ingroup’s greatness, and national identification (i.e., secure national identity), a feeling of belonging to the nation and evaluating it positively, as differential predictors of collective violence beliefs. The findings suggest that a defensive national identity was related to support for upward (i.e., violence targeted at regime leaders) and diffuse (i.e., violence targeted at regime supporters) collective violence.

Hoffmeyer-Zlotnik, P. (2023). Perspectives of flow and place: Rethinking notions of migration and mobility in policy-making. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 50(6), 1299–1316. Why do some migration policies cause controversial debates while others are barely noticed? And why do migration policies consistently fail to meet their stated objectives? This paper argues that identifying the underlying perspective that informs migration policy-making can be a productive tool to answer these questions. The author starts by reviewing notions of ‘migration’ and ‘mobility’ used in political and scholarly discourse and argues that the ways of differentiating between the two entail not only biases related to norms of sedentariness or social hierarchies, but also blind spots for how states and individuals perceive cross-border movements. As an alternative, the author proposes to conceptualize ‘migration’ and ‘mobility’ as categories reflecting perspectives that either normalize sedentariness and fixed borders or movement and fluidity.

Tagliacozzo, S., Pisacane, L., & Kilkey, M. (2023). A system-thinking approach for Migration Studies: An introduction. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 50(5), 1099–1117. Migration studies first took up a systems perspective in the 1970s to explain migration flows and their dynamics over time. Over the last decades, the dominant discourse and analysis in migration studies have remained constrained within the limits of the ‘migration system.’ While the influence of the ‘wider environment’ on the migration system has been recognized, what the elements of the wider environment are, and their mechanisms of influence remain poorly articulated. Through eight innovative contributions, this Special Issue seeks to contribute, first, to unpacking the elements (i.e. the other systems) that constitute the ‘wider environment’ with which the components of the migration system (e.g. migrants, sending and receiving communities, institutions, policies, etc.) interact, and secondly, to disentangling the mutual influences between the migration system and this wider environment.

Vankova, Z. (2023). Refugee labour mobility to the EU: A tool contributing to fairer sharing of responsibilities in the context of forced displacement? Refugee Survey Quarterly, 43(1), 53–73. A significant shortcoming of work-based pathways is that, in most cases, they do not lead directly to a durable solution but rather offer “a journey to a durable solution” on the basis of temporary residence permits. By comparing the different approaches applied to Ukrainian and Syrian refugees in the European Union, this article concludes that refugee labour mobility in its current state has the potential to contribute to fairer responsibility sharing only cumulatively with other durable solutions and complementary pathways, and when it provides admission facilitation coupled with a fast and clear path to permanent residence or legal mechanisms, ensuring possibilities for extension of residence rights and legality of stay.

Zangiabadi, S., Alghalyini, B., Zoubi, F., & Tamim, H. (2024). Effect of food insecurity on depression, anxiety, and stress among resettled Syrian refugees in Ontario. PLOS Global Public Health, 4(3). Food insecurity has been linked to adverse health outcomes, particularly among vulnerable populations such as refugees. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of food insecurity and its association with depression, anxiety, and stress among resettled Syrian refugee parents in Ontario. Results of the multiple linear regression analysis showed that food insecurity was significantly associated with higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. The authors conclude that implementing effective government interventions and frameworks is essential to reduce food insecurity among resettled Syrian refugees to ultimately improve their mental health outcomes and overall well-being.


Converging Crises: The Impacts of COVID-19 on Migration in South America. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. During the onset of COVID-19, many countries were already grappling with increased demands on their regularization, integration, and broader social welfare systems. This report is part of a series of studies by MPI’s Task Force on Mobility and Borders during and after COVID-19 that explores opportunities to improve international coordination regarding border management during public health crises. Other regional case studies in this series look at Asia, the Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Thematic studies consider the role of digital health credentials in facilitating movement, using risk analysis to shape border policies, and the rise of remote work and “digital nomads.” A final capstone policy brief reflects on lessons for future public health emergencies.

Coordination Breakdown: The Impacts of COVID-19 on Migration in Europe. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. Despite many advantages (e.g., robust coordinating institutions and existing freedom of movement agreement, etc.), the onset of COVID-19 largely halted movement both within and from outside the European Union, with heavy consequences for societies and economies across the bloc. This report is part of a series of studies by MPI’s Task Force on Mobility and Borders during and after COVID-19 that explores opportunities to improve international coordination regarding border management during public health crises.

Diverging Paths: The Impacts of COVID-19 on Migration in the Middle East and North Africa. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. The shutdown of mobility at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic had drastic effects on movement throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Migrant workers comprise much of the workforce in Arab Gulf states, Jordan, and Lebanon, and many lost their jobs and returned to their countries of origin. Tourism and travel, which represent a sizeable share of GDP for many countries, largely halted. And border closures stranded irregular migrants along many major routes. This report is part of a series of studies by MPI’s Task Force on Mobility and Borders during and after COVID-19 that explores opportunities to improve international coordination regarding border management during public-health crises.

Mobility Shutdown: The Impacts of COVID-19 on Migration in Asia and the Pacific. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. Governments in Asia and the Pacific imposed some of the strictest and longest-lasting limits on human mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic, triggering a collapse in migration, stranding migrants abroad for months, and prompting mass returns that strained health and reintegration systems. But the region also kept COVID-19 cases and deaths relatively low for the first two years. This report is part of a series of studies by MPI’s Task Force on Mobility and Borders during and after COVID-19 that explores opportunities to improve international coordination regarding border management during public-health crises. Other regional case studies in this series look at Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and South America. Thematic studies consider the role of digital health credentials in facilitating movement, the use of risk analysis to shape border policies, and the rise of remote work and “digital nomads.” A final capstone issue brief reflects on lessons for future public-health emergencies. This series includes three other regional case studies that follow.

Shehada, R., Al-Ali, A., Jeroudia, M., Taleb, H., Ghanem, H. and Dajani, D. (2024). Refugees in Jordan: a data-driven approach for change. IIED, London. Jordan hosts a large number of refugees. Many have lived in Jordan for decades but still struggle to create fulfilling lives. This briefing reports on a project that supported refugee communities to generate data about their challenges and agree on their priorities for creating better futures. Refugees identified a complex web of restrictions relating to their legal status and requirements for personal identification as a significant obstacle to leading full lives. They called for humanitarian organizations and Jordan’s government to offer more opportunities for refugees, so that they can use their skills to contribute to the country’s economy. They also called for agencies and government to engage more fully with refugee communities in planning for refugees, and to provide paths towards long-term residency security that allows them to build new lives.

The Mobility Key: Realizing the Potential of Refugee Travel Documents. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. Governments are increasingly experimenting with new mobility pathways for refugees, beyond traditional resettlement operations. These include complementary pathways that connect refugees with work or study opportunities in a country other than the one in which they first sought safety—expanding their future prospects while easing pressure on top refugee-hosting countries. This policy brief—part of the Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World initiative led by MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung—outlines the different types of travel documents that can facilitate refugees’ movement and key barriers to acquiring and using them. It also identifies steps that countries of asylum, transit, and destination, along with donors and international organizations, can take to overcome these challenges.

UNHCR issues new guidance on international refugee protection for Haitians. (2024). UNHCR. Amidst Haiti’s rapidly deteriorating security, human rights and humanitarian situation, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has issued new legal guidance to ensure that international refugee protection is provided for Haitians who need it. Indiscriminate gang violence in Haiti has led to an alarming escalation of human rights violations and large-scale internal displacement. Nearly half of the country’s 11.4 million people require humanitarian assistance. UNHCR’s new guidance aims to assist States with their assessment of asylum claims in light of the stark realities facing Haitians today.


Armed groups continue terror campaign across Burkina Faso. March 21, 2024. United Nations. Large parts of Burkina Faso are being terrorized by armed groups, and the rampant insecurity is “beyond alarming,” said the UN human rights chief on Thursday following a brief visit to the country. High Commissioner Volker Türk said, from the capital Ouagadougou, that his local office had been “engaging intensely with the authorities, civil society actors, human rights defenders, UN partners and others on many of the multifaceted human rights challenges” the country faces following a coup in January 2022 that saw Captain Ibrahim Traoré assume power.

Canada needs a national strategy for homeless refugee claimants by Christina Clark-Kazak, March 31, 2024. The Conversation. One year after the federal government closed Roxham Road, refugee claims in Canada continue to increase: there were 143,785 in 2023 compared to 91,730 in 2022. The surprise announcement in March 2023 to modify Canada’s Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States was touted as a way to “better manage access to the refugee system.” Instead, the past year has seen deaths at irregular crossings, increased asylum claims at airports (not covered by the modified agreement) and soaring refugee claimant homelessness across Canada.

Thailand: The forgotten tragedy of 50 Uighur refugee by Valentin Cebron, March 18, 2024. La Croix International. In Thailand, some 50 Uighurs who escaped the oppressive Chinese government have been languishing in detention centers for over a decade, in flagrant disregard of international law, reports by several NGOs. If deported to China, “it is clear they would face torture,” says Robertson. Their prolonged imprisonment, as refugees in transit, violates international human rights standards. According to HRW, Thailand is caught between the United States and China, opting not to take a stand and thereby keeping the 50 Uighurs in appalling conditions.

Weeping, weak and soaked, dozens of Rohingya refugees rescued after night on hull of capsized boat by Reza Saifullah and Edna Tarigan, March 21, 2024. The Associated Press. An Indonesian search and rescue ship on Thursday located a capsized wooden boat that had been carrying dozens of Rohingya Muslim refugees, and began pulling survivors who had been standing on its hull to safety. An AP photographer reported that 10 people were taken aboard local fishing boats and the Indonesian craft saved another 59. Men, women and children, weak and soaked from the night’s rain, wept as the rescue operation got underway and people were taken aboard a rubber dinghy to the rescue boat. There were contradictory reports about whether anyone had died in the accident, with survivors saying many who had been aboard when the boat departed from Bangladesh were still unaccounted for, but authorities insisted everyone had been rescued.

Why refugee ration cuts in Uganda risk long-term social damage by Maja Simonsen Nilsen, Emmanuel Viga, Eria Serwajja, and Hilde Refstie, March 18, 2024. The New Humanitarian. Refugees in Uganda are turning to increasingly desperate measures to support themselves and their families following drastic reductions in humanitarian aid. However, the current  research suggests the worst effects of these cuts are yet to be seen, as refugee social networks buckle under pressure to fill the gaps left by aid agencies. Uganda’s open-border policies and refugee self-reliance model have earned international acclaim. However, a surge in refugee numbers and major cuts in humanitarian funding are pushing the country’s response efforts to the brink. Increasingly threadbare aid budgets mean many of the 1.5 million refugees in the country – one of the world’s largest refugee-hosting nations – are receiving less than 40% of their basic survival rations, while others are getting less or nothing at all.


Change Agents: Overcoming the employment stumbling block facing many migrants by SBS News. While it is common to hear about society’s high achievers, there are others acting as role models of change. Resumes and cover letters are required for most job applications in Australia. However,  overseas, in some countries, this is a less common practice. In this episode of Change Agents, the hosts meet a woman helping refugees and immigrants navigate the Australian job market for the first time.

Continuing Conversations 6: REUK Showcase by Refugee Education UK. Are you working on a refugee education project in Europe? Perhaps as a teacher, developing an educational programme for refugees in your school or through your NGO – or as a researcher looking at refugees’ access to university or non-formal educational settings? Would you like to meet others working in this field in a friendly and collaborative environment? This is an online networking event hosted by the Hub for Education for Refugees in Europe (HERE) at the University of Nottingham, UK. Building on HERE’s inaugural conference in 2022 and our previous five ‘Continuing Conversations’ events in 2023, this session seeks to foster further connections among the growing HERE Network and continue our critical conversations around support for refugee learners across Europe. This online event takes place on April 22nd, 2024, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM EDT.

The Refocus: An Online Summer Forced Migration in Africa Workshop Series by the Refugee Law Initiative, University of London; the Centre for Migration Studies, University of Ghana; the African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand; and the African Academy of Migration Research (AAMR). This workshop series facilitates the development of knowledge and critical thinking on forced migration and protection issues in Africa, as well as the training of early career and emerging scholars. The Series takes a hybrid approach to participation. If participants are interested in attending the Refocus Series as a summer school, it will be necessary to join all 4 sessions and then produce a written submission on a topic related to this year’s theme. Alternatively, participants are welcome to simply attend all four sessions or attend specific ones. Both forms of participation are free and open to all. The event will take place every Wednesday in April 2024.

March 26 2024: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest


Bose, P. (2024). Nexus dynamics: The impact of environmental vulnerabilities and climate change on refugee camps. Oxford Open Climate Change, 4(1). Climate change and forced migration are often thought about in terms of the sheer numbers of people who might be displaced by a transforming environment. Understanding the forces that produce, respond to and amplify such forced migration patterns requires a complex and nuanced view of them. Using Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh (Rohingya refugees), Dadaab in Kenya (Somali refugees) and Za’atari in Jordan (Syrian refugees), the author examines the ways that political, economic and ecological factors have driven the inhabitants to the camps, keep them vulnerable within them, and raise questions about both their and the camps’ respective futures.

Bose, P. S. (2024). Research with refugees: Working with ethnic community-based organizations. Geographical Review, 1–19. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) has functioned as a partnership between the federal government and several non-profit partners for more than four decades. Yet resettlement is dependent on more than these obvious actors;  it also includes states, municipalities, and a range of other organizations. In this paper, the author explores one part of the resettlement assemblage in the United States—ethnic community-based organizations (ECBOs)—from their own perspective as a researcher who has collaborated with one such entity over several years.

Brun, C., Alikhan, M. M., Jayatilaka, D., Chalkiadaki, E., & Erdal, M. B. The dynamic space of aid relations in protracted internal displacement: The case of Sri Lanka’s northern Muslims. Disasters, e12623. Aid relations in protracted displacement comprise a diversity of actors with different influences and involvement over time. Building on the case of Sri Lanka’s northern Muslim’s expulsion from the north of the country in 1990, this paper investigates the dynamic space of aid relations in their drawn-out internal displacement. The analysis incorporates angles and voices often overlooked in mainstream humanitarian studies, including internally displaced persons, hosts, and Middle Eastern aid funders. The authors argue that a long-term perspective and a variety of voices provide foundations for more productive engagement with localization in humanitarian action in protracted displacement crises.

Doğar, D. (2024). Unrecognizing Refugees: The Inadmissibility Scheme Replacing Article 1F Decisions in Canada. International Journal of Refugee Law. This article examines the interwoven relationship between article 1F (the exclusion provision) of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the inadmissibility scheme based on the grounds of security, violation of human or international rights, serious criminality, or organized criminality (SHSO) in Canada. Incorporating evidence from a literature review, case law, statistics, and interviews conducted with practitioners in Canada, this research demonstrates that Canada deliberately chooses to review the cases of refugee claimants about whom there are serious reasons to consider that they have committed grave crimes under the inadmissibility scheme rather than under article 1F. The authors argue that this shift from the exclusion provision to the inadmissibility scheme is problematic since using the broader SHSO grounds instead of article 1F violates Canada’s international obligations under the Refugee Convention.

Dromonis, T. (2024). Seeking Asylum: Building a Shareable World. Linda Leith Publishing. Human migration and the right to seek asylum from harm have been constants throughout the history of human existence. But only recently has Canada been forced to confront a global displacement crisis that much of the planet has long been dealing with. Seeking Asylum is a book about the plea for empathy, away of rethinking and reframing the conversation to emphasize both our common humanity and our moral and legal obligations to one another.

Soehl, T., Stolle, D., & Scott, C. (2023). The politics left behind: How pre-migration and migration experiences shape Syrian refugees’ interest in home-county politics. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 50(4), 914–935. This article explores which refugees are more likely to engage in home country politics. It focuses on two sets of factors: experiences of hardship in the context of emigration, transiting and settling to their destination country, and the ongoing social ties to family and friends left behind. Refugees in transit in their interim country with prior experiences of hardship back home are associated with less engagement in the political affairs of Syria. On the other hand, those who have a harder time settling into life in Canada tend to remain more interested in home-country politics. The findings highlight the unique pressures refugees face and the role these pressures may have on continued interest in the political affairs of their home country after migrating.


Diverging Paths: The Impacts of COVID-19 on Migration in the Middle East and North Africa. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. This report is part of a series of studies by MPI’s Task Force on Mobility and Borders during and after COVID-19 that explores opportunities to improve international coordination regarding border management during public-health crises. Other regional case studies in this series look at Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and South America. Thematic studies consider the role of digital health credentials in facilitating movement, the use of risk analysis to shape border policies, and the rise of remote work and “digital nomads.” A final capstone policy brief reflects on lessons for future public-health crises.

ICMPD Migration Outlook Eastern Europe and Central Asia 2024 Eight migration issues to look out for in 2024. (2024). International Centre for Migration Policy Development. This report identifies eight key trends and developments in Eastern Europe and Central Asia that will be high on the agenda of decision-makers and analysts alike. These include the large-scale displacement due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the decisive debate on the future of temporary protection for Ukrainian beneficiaries in Europe, and the precarity of the situation for Russian emigrants in non-EU host states and their attempts to reach the EU.

Rapid Evaluation of the Ukraine Response. (2024). Government of Canada. This report presents the findings of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) Rapid Evaluation of the Ukraine Response covering the period from March 2022 to March 2023. The summary of evaluation findings shows that the Ukraine Response has thus far been successful in facilitating the arrival of Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) holders to Canada and has experienced strong collaboration among partners and stakeholders. However, there were significant impacts on IRCC. The report identifies lessons learned and makes recommendation in four areas for IRCC to undertake in preparation for a future crisis. 

Massari, A. (2024). Reframing Migration: The Use of Visual Communication by Government Institutions. Toronto Metropolitan University. This policy brief argues that visual communication – the transmission of information and ideas through visual elements, such as images, graphics, charts and other visual aids – has a pivotal role in shaping migrant and public perceptions and influencing policy decisions concerning migration. The brief draws on research on the visual representations produced by government migration institutions in Canada and Europe to demonstrate the need for governments to develop and adopt best practices in visual communication on migration. 


America has a good model for how to handle immigration: America by Abdallah Fayyad, March 1, 2024. Vox. The author argues that the United States immigration system is so dysfunctional that it might sometimes seem as though it has no redeeming features. Asylum seekers are left in legal limbo for years, and immigration courts face a growing backlog of cases — all while arrests of migrants at the southern border have reached a record high. But when it comes to addressing the current wave of migrants, many of whom are families and asylum seekers, American lawmakers do not need to look very far to find a model to emulate: the United States’ very own refugee resettlement program.

Food aid for Sudanese refugees in Chad could end next month, WFP says by Emma Farge, March 12, 2024. Reuters. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), food aid for hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees in Chad, some of whom are close to starvation, will be suspended next month without more funding.  Since conflict broke out in Sudan nearly a year ago, more than half a million Sudanese refugees have fled to Chad across the long desert border and the country is now one of Africa’s main refugee hot spots with more than 1 million in total. But the WFP says it is struggling to feed them all and many are already skipping meals. Nearly half of Sudanese refugee children under five-years-old are suffering from severe anemia. The agency is urgently calling for $242 million to ensure ongoing support for the next six months.

How a new global consensus can provide true refuge to the displaced by Abraham D. Sofaer, March 14, 2024. The Hill. The huge increase in refugees worldwide is a major threat to public order. The author argues for a new consensus to deal with this crisis and preserve long-held principles governing humanitarian relief and national control of borders. That consensus would include providing refugees with permanent homes in communities of refuge that include access to employment, education and other aspects of normal life.

Madeline Gleeson & Theodore Konstadinides: The UK’s Rwanda policy and Lessons from Australia by Madeline Gleeson & Theodore Konstadinides, March 14, 2024. UK Constitutional Law Association. In November 2023, the Supreme Court of the UK dealt a critical blow to the government’s proposal to send certain asylum seekers to the Republic of Rwanda ruling that removal to Rwanda would be unlawful because that country was not, at the time, a ‘safe country’. The government moved swiftly to conclude a new treaty with Rwanda which seeks to render Rwanda ‘safe’ by establishing additional safeguards and guarantees. The authors question lawmakers’ claims that the Rwanda policy is analogous to Australia’s offshore processing policies and argue that given the extraordinary human toll of Australia’s offshore processing policies, they should not be replicated without full and accurate consideration of their risks and consequences. 

Waves of Violence Storm Port-au-Prince in Haiti Further Displacing Thousands by Antoine Lemonnier, March 9, 2024. IOM UN Migration. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is deeply concerned by the uprising of violence since the end of February. IOM’s latest displacement tracking reveals that 15,000 people have been displaced within just one week, all of them having already experienced displacement. Ten displacement sites have been entirely emptied due to the successive waves of violence, leaving displaced families traumatized. Urgent needs include access to food, healthcare, water, and hygiene facilities, and psychological support. More than 160,000 people are currently displaced in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area.


AUDIO: Calls for accelerate refugee resettlement by RN Breakfast. This podcast episode delves into the repercussions of Australia’s refugee policy, which has left  hundreds of refugees in a state of limbo for years. While over a thousand people have been settled in the US and New Zealand, a large cohort of refugees and asylum seekers are still awaiting information about their fate.

Summer Course on Forced Migration: Exploring the intersections between forced migration and technology by Centre for Refugee Studies, York University. This year’s Summer Course is offered in collaboration with Osgoode Hall Law School’s Refugee Law Laboratory and will focus on research, policy, and practices at the intersections of forced migration and technology. The course will start off with an introductory day and a deep dive into the current state of play. To ensure a baseline level of knowledge for attendees, participants will receive an overview of major trends in forced migration as well as some of the vast array of technologies used for border enforcement, refugee adjudication, and the inspiring innovations by researchers, lawyers, and affected communities aimed at levelling the playing field. The course will take place at York University in Toronto, Ontario, from June 3-7, 2024.

March 7 2024: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest


Adekola, P.O., Cirella, G.T. & Brownell, G. (2024). Reintegration programs and the willingness of displaced persons to return home: Analyzing the role of social infrastructure in north-east Nigeria. Journal of International Migration & Integration. This study explores the impact of Boko Haram’s violence on northern Nigeria, particularly focusing on the willingness of conflict-induced internally displaced persons (CIIDPs) to return home and the role of restoring social infrastructure in this process. The authors conclude that while restoring social infrastructure is a factor, it should not be viewed as the sole solution for promoting willingness to return in a post-conflict context. To address the broader issue, they recommend that governments and policymakers in conflict-affected communities prioritize restoring water sources and access roads, as these appear to be critical factors in encouraging the return of IDPs.

Borrelli, L. M., & Ruedin, D. (2024). Towards a precise and reflexive use of migration-related terminology in quantitative research: Criticism and suggestions. Comparative Migration Studies, 12(1), 1-18. To describe migration-related phenomena, there is a need to reflect on the terminology and choose the most adequate one to determine whether migration is the (main) cause of a phenomenon, a consequence, or even unrelated and misattributed. The authors argue that such terminology in quantitative and experimental research is often flawed because of its differentiated adoption in legal, political, or scientific contexts. They conclude that quantitative research should avoid reproducing state-created terminology and instead look beyond the strict field of immigration to consider other classification systems like gender, ethnicity, language, or social class to reduce the negative attributes ascribed to non-citizens.

Feyissa Dori, D., Hagen-Zanker, J., & Mazzilli, C. (2024). The entanglement between tangible and intangible factors in shaping Hadiya migration aspirations to South Africa. International Migration Review. This article expands scholarly knowledge on migration decision-making, drawing on the case of Hadiya (Southern Ethiopia) migration to South Africa. The authors propose a conceptual framework where intangible factors (religious beliefs, imaginations, norms, and emotions, and feelings) are placed at the core of decision-making, alongside more tangible factors, such as livelihood opportunities. Showing the centrality of such aspects in Hadiya respondent’s life stories, they argue that only by looking at the interplay of intangible and tangible factors can we reach a better understanding of the complex dynamic of migration decision-making.

Kuo, B. C., & Rappaport, L. M. (2024). A prospective longitudinal study of depression, perceived stress, and perceived control in resettled Syrian refugees’ mental health and psychosocial adaptation. Transcultural Psychiatry. This prospective study examined the psychosocial adaptation of a community sample of newly resettled Syrian refugees in Canada. Specifically, data on depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and perceived control were collected. Empirical results identify a potentially broad, precipitating, and persistent effect of depressive symptoms on Syrian refugees’ psychosocial resources and adaptation post-migration. Clinically, the study results highlight the importance of early screening for depressive symptoms among refugee newcomers within a culturally and trauma-informed, integrated health setting. Furthermore, this study underscores the value and need for theoretically guided longitudinal studies to advance future research on refugee mental health and psychosocial adaptation.

Ozdamar, O., Giovanis, E. & Akdede, S.H. (2024). Attitudes towards Syrian refugees in Türkiye: Does cosmopolitanism matter?. Journal of International  Migration & Integration. This paper empirically investigates the possible relationship between cosmopolitanism and attitudes towards Syrian refugees in Türkiye. Previous research has emphasized that factors determining cosmopolitanism can also influence attitudes toward refugees and immigrants. However, no study has documented evidence of the link between these factors and the attitudes of Turkish people towards Syrian refugees. Findings show that those with cosmopolitan orientations, people who have been or lived abroad in the past, and individuals who know at least one foreign language and participated in cultural activities while being in another country are more tolerant of refugees.


Bearing Witness: Atrocities and Looming Hunger in Darfur. (2024). Refugees International. Many of the same atrocities seen in Darfur 20 years ago – including potential genocide – are unfolding again today. These atrocities are driving mass forced displacement and growing humanitarian needs. Most deaths to date have been due to violence, but without increased relief aid, many more people will die due to hunger and disease in the months ahead.  With more than 10 million people displaced and half its population facing acute food insecurity – including nearly 5 million at the brink of famine – Sudan is now the largest displacement crisis in the world, and one of the worst humanitarian crises. Darfur, with rising hunger and the spectre of genocide, has become the worst of Sudan’s crises.

Outmatched: The U.S. Asylum System Faces Record Demands. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. The U.S. humanitarian protection system is under significant strain at a time of mass displacements globally, a backlog of 2 million asylum applications, and record arrivals of migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Biden administration has turned to alternate pathways to provide temporary protection to some, while imposing restrictions on asylum. This report examines the current state of the U.S. protection system, focusing on recent changes the Biden administration has been making in asylum processes and temporary protections, as well as the challenges and lessons the U.S. experience may offer for other asylum systems and countries. The report is one of five country case studies and a synthesis report in a comparative asylum project developed by the Clingendael Institute.

Scars of War and Deprivation: An Urgent Call to Reverse Tigray’s Humanitarian Crisis. (2024). Refugees International. It has been over a year since peace was declared between the Federal Ethiopia Government and authorities in the Tigray region. Yet, at a time when the region should be recovering, people remain in crisis. Widespread hunger is gripping a portion of the population, including the most vulnerable. The hunger is a function of two years of living under siege during the war, a crippling drought, and a nearly seven-month pause in food aid intended to root out corruption. Mothers who survived gang-rape by soldiers should be undergoing treatment for physical and mental healing, but instead are wondering how they will feed their children. For a range of reasons, aid has not scaled up to meet the needs of Tigray’s internally displaced people (IDPs). If relief does not come, many will die, and some even fear that the fragile peace agreement could be in jeopardy.

The Mobility Key: Realizing the Potential of Refugee Travel Documents. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. Governments are increasingly experimenting with new mobility pathways for refugees, beyond traditional resettlement operations. These include complementary pathways that connect refugees with work or study opportunities in a country other than the one in which they first sought safety—expanding their future prospects while easing pressure on top refugee-hosting countries. This policy brief—part of the Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World initiative led by MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung—outlines the different types of travel documents that can facilitate refugees’ movement and key barriers to acquiring and using them. It also identifies steps that countries of asylum, transit, and destination, along with donors and international organizations, can take to overcome these challenges.

UN Refugee Agency expresses alarm over escalating humanitarian crisis in eastern DR Congo. (2024). The UN Refugee Agency. This is a summary of what UNHCR spokesperson Eujin Byun said at a recent press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The worsening humanitarian situation civilians face in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is worrying. Intensifying violence and conflict are exacting a heavy toll on innocent civilians, hundreds of thousands of whom are attempting to seek safety on the peripheries of conflict zones. Since the resurgence of fighting around the town of Sake in the North Kivu Province on 7 February, 144,000 individuals have been forced to flee the outskirts of Goma. They have fled indiscriminate bombings that have impacted displacement sites and other civilian areas over the past few weeks, which have resulted in the deaths of more than 20 civilians and injured more than 60.


By boat or by plane? If you’re seeking asylum in Australia, the outcome is similarly bleak by Savitri Taylor, February 20, 2024. The Conversation. Last week, 39 foreign nationals arrived by boat in a remote part of Western Australia. This revived dormant debates about border security. People without visas come to Australia by air and sea, though we only ever seem to hear about the latter. Unlike unauthorized air arrivals, unauthorized maritime arrivals (people without visas that arrive by boat without permission) are given high media visibility. This feeds a narrative that the country has lost control of its borders, creating a political problem for the government of the day. This article reflects what happens behind the headlines, when people arrive in Australia without permission, whether by boat or by plane.

New York lawyer group denounces massacre of migrants in Mexican state of Sonora by Beatriz Guillén, February 21, 2024. El País. Four-year-old Jonzi was one of a group of migrants travelling across the Mexican state of Sonora last Thursday when an armed commando attacked the vehicles. The child, who had arrived in Mexico from Ecuador, died, along with at least two other women. His death had gone unnoticed, added to the large number of missing, kidnapped and deceased migrants attempting to reach the U.S. border that nobody asks about and whose bodies nobody claims. However, a New York law firm specializing in migrant issues, 1800Migrante, released a statement based on a witness account that spoke of a “migrant massacre” in Sáric, about 50 miles from the border with Arizona.

Over 15,000 refugees cross into Uganda since January: UN refugee agency by Xinhua, February 19, 2024. More than 15,000 refugees have crossed into Uganda from neighbouring countries since January, and the number is expected to increase throughout the year, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Frank Walusimbi, UNHCR Uganda spokesperson, told Xinhua by telephone on Monday that most refugees came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan and South Sudan.

Poland has opened its arms to nearly 1 million Ukrainian refugees, but will they be able to stay for the long term? by Kate Golebiowska, Marta Pachocka, and Sabina Kubiciel-Lodzińska, February 26, 2024. The Conversation. Two years after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the European landscape has been completely transformed by Ukrainian migrants fleeing their homeland. In the weeks after Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, Poland immediately opened its borders and became the primary recipient of Ukrainian refugees. By May 2022, 3.5 million Ukrainians – or 53% of all people who fled the country – had crossed the border into Poland. Many have since returned to Ukraine or settled elsewhere, but many have stayed. The authors discuss why Poland has been so open to this large number of refugees – and how long they will be able to stay.

Thailand Braces for Refugee Influx After Myanmar Junta Announces Conscription Law by Tommy Walker, February 18, 2024. VOA. Thailand is bracing for an influx of refugees after Myanmar’s military recently announced a conscription law. Analysts say the Thai government should put those fleeing Myanmar into safe zones. Last week, Myanmar’s military activated the People’s Military Service Law, meaning men aged 18 to 45 and women aged 18 to 35 can be drafted into the armed forces for two years of compulsory service. Certain personnel in specialist professions, like doctors and engineers, must serve for three years. In the case of a national emergency, the military service can be extended to five years.

Ukraine refugees want to return home — but how? by Cevat Giray Aksoy and Barbara Rambousek, February 21, 2024. EU Observer. It is generally accepted that the longer refugees are out of their home country, the less likely they are to return. However, in Ukraine’s case, it looks slightly different. Two years after being forced to flee their homes due to the Russian invasion, a significant number of the eight million displaced Ukrainians continue to express a strong determination to return. In the authors’ new EBRD research paper, they look at surveys on the intentions of refugee Ukrainians in Europe to return or integrate. Fewer than one in ten intend to settle permanently outside Ukraine. Most are planning to return either very soon (7.6 percent) or when it is safe (59.0 percent).


Border Controls, Politics and Digitization: The banality of digital “reasonable suspicions” and their effects by Lincoln Alexander School of Law. The objective of this presentation is to analyze how the politics of digital suspicion affect travellers seeking entry or transit visas. With a view to the consequences for individuals, Elspeth Guild, a Jean Monnet Professor ad personam in law at Queen Mary University of London, and Didier Bigo, a part-time professor of International Political Sociology at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, will analyze what groups are in charge of elaborating these policies, the link between private providers and public authorities, and the declared objectives and difficulties of constructing reliable and relevant data. This speaker series is on March 28, 2024, at 12:00 – 1:00 PM EDT at Toronto Metropolitan University.

February 26 2024: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest


Karimi, A., & Byelikova, Y. (2024). Wartime (im)mobilities: Effects of aspirations-capabilities on displaced Ukrainians in Canada and Germany and their viewpoints on those who remain in Ukraine. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1–20. In war times, what differentiates those who manage to flee from those who remain behind? The authors identify how macro-level policies and individual resources and aspirations combine to shape wartime (im)mobility outcomes. They make a threefold contribution to forced migration studies and argue that war acts as an amplifier of preexisting migration aspirations for some individuals, that wartime exit restriction is a distinct example of macro-level emigration policies, and that a proactive-stay-aspirations component extends the aspirations-capabilities framework’s conceptual range.

Oubad, I. & Mouna, K. (2023). Certifying Credibility: Trajectory of Sub-Saharan Asylum Seekers in Italy. Fuori Luogo. Rivista Di Sociologia Del Territorio, Turismo, Tecnologia, 17(4), 139-154. Drawing on an ethnography of refugees and protection seekers in Italy (region of Veneto), testimonies were generated to look at the complex processes involved in certifying eligibility for legal protection. This paper underscores the conditions under which migrants (re)invent a new identity to meet the institutional expectations of the European humanitarian criteria for asylum-seekers.

Roy, C. K. (2023). Financial Inclusion for Forcibly Displaced Persons: The Impact of Aid Conditions. Quarterly on Refugee Problems – AWR Bulletin, 62(4), 429–452. This research critically examines the direct impact of forcibly displaced persons’ (FDPs) inclusion in the financial system of host countries and explores the role of international development cooperation in facilitating financial inclusion. The study reveals a novel finding that solely including FDPs in the financial system or relying solely on development cooperation does not enhance financial inclusion in developing countries. This research provides valuable insights into the design and implementation of policies aimed at fostering financial inclusion for FDPs and highlights the importance of international partnerships in achieving this goal.

Tesfai, A., Captari, L. E., & Cowden, R. G. (2024). Coping Resources among Forced Migrants in South Africa: Exploring the Role of Character Strengths in Coping, Adjustment, and Flourishing. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 21(1), 50. This phenomenological qualitative study explored how forced migrants in South Africa cope with violent, traumatic experiences and precarious resettlement conditions. Qualitative analysis revealed five overarching domains: spirituality and religiousness, love and kindness, hope and optimism, persistence and fortitude, and gratitude and thankfulness. Findings are framed within positive existential psychology and dual-factor understandings of mental health, which attend to human suffering and flourishing. The intergenerational transmission of strengths is explored as one potential means of buffering intergenerational trauma impacts and promoting family post-traumatic growth.

Tran, M., & Bermudez, R. (2022). Durable Solutions for People Displaced by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines. Cusri Journal of Social Research. This paper scrutinizes the challenges and complexities surrounding durable solutions for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Tacloban City, Philippines, in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. A human rights-based survey monitoring resettlement status seven years after the disaster shows significant gaps in human rights fulfilment, revealing uneven access to housing, livelihood, and essential services among displaced people. By adopting the “politics of mobility” framework, the paper recognizes that displacement and resettlement are not solely humanitarian and disaster recovery challenges. Instead, achieving durable solutions in post-disaster displacement requires understanding its development and mobility dimensions. The paper highlights how decisions related to land use, housing, and development, influenced by political and economic interests, impact the achievement of durable solutions to a catastrophic event.


As Sudan conflict fuels epic suffering, UN launches humanitarian and refugee response plans for 2024. (2024). The UN Refugee Agency. The United Nations and its partners today appealed for a combined $4.1 billion to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs of civilians in war-torn Sudan and those who have fled to neighbouring countries. Ten months since the conflict erupted, half of Sudan’s population – some 25 million people – needs humanitarian assistance and protection. More than 1.5 million people have fled across Sudan’s borders to the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

The Mobility Key: Realizing the Potential of Refugee Travel Documents. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. This policy brief—part of the Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World initiative led by MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung—outlines the different types of travel documents that can facilitate refugees’ movement and key barriers to acquiring and using them. It also identifies steps that countries of asylum, transit, and destination, along with donors and international organizations, can take to overcome these challenges.

Quarterly Mixed Migration Updates. (2024). Mixed Migration Centre. This article presents the key updates on mixed migration from six regions around the world (Asia and the Pacific, Eastern and Southern Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North Africa, and West Africa) during the fourth quarter of 2023. Such key updates include the increased displacement in Myanmar, the ongoing conflict in Sudan, and many more.


Massive displacement as fighting surges in eastern DR Congo by UN News, February 14, 2024. Fresh fighting since last week in the region has displaced an estimated 135,000 people from the town of Sake – on the northern banks of Lake Kivu – who are moving towards the provincial capital, Goma, about 25 kilometres away, according to UNHCR. The agency further said that it received reports of bombs falling on civilian areas in Sake and Goma, where an estimated 65,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are sheltering, prompting “significant concerns” for their safety. The presence of unexploded ordnance poses a particular threat to children, it added, noting that since the first week of February, at least 15 civilians had been killed and 29 injured around Goma and Sake.

Suspected asylum seekers taken to Nauru as political storm over boat arrivals intensifies by Andrea Mayes, Cason Ho, and Rosanne Maloney, February 17, 2024. ABC News. The arrival of 39 foreign nationals by boat in remote northern Western Australia on Friday is continuing to cause a political storm in Australia. The men have been taken to an offshore detention centre at Nauru.

Syrian refugees face dire human rights situation: UN report by Malaika Grafe, February 13, 2024. JURIST News. A report released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Tuesday highlights human rights violations and abuses endured by Syrians upon their return to Syria. The report outlines a combination of challenges awaiting returnees, including general insecurity in the aftermath of the civil war, as well as ongoing violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law. The report also highlights an “alarming” economic situation. Additionally, the report states, “People nowadays are more afraid of not having food than of bombs,” and many Syrians lack economic access to basic goods and services, including food, shelter and healthcare.

UN refugee chief warns Europe of a new influx of Sudanese migrants if Sudan’s conflict continues by Rédaction, February 2, 2024. Africanews. More than 9 million people are thought to be internally displaced in Sudan, and 1.5 million refugees have fled into neighbouring countries in 10 months of clashes between the Sudanese military, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces, a powerful paramilitary group commanded by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo. If a cease-fire agreement is not signed soon between Sudan’s warring sides and relief efforts are not strengthened, refugees will look for safety beyond Sudan’s neighbouring countries, the head of the United Nations refugee agency warned.

Weekly U.S.-Mexico Border Update: Migration drops, “border deal” fallout, Mayorkas impeachment by Adam Isacson, February 16, 2024. Washington Office on Latin America. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released data about its encounters with migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in January. The numbers showed a 50 percent drop in Border Patrol apprehensions of migrants from December, from a single-month record of 249,735 to 124,220. January was the third-quietest month at the U.S.-Mexico border of the Biden administration’s 36 full months.


Betting on Migration for Impact by Stanford Social Innovation Review. Migration is often framed as a crisis: When the issue makes headlines, it is portrayed as a burden, threat, or tragedy and almost always politically intractable. In reality, migration represents an opportunity and a solution, and it needs to be disentangled from electoral politics. Indeed, we are at the beginning of a multi-decade global trend of human movement, a trend which can be harnessed to unlock tremendous good for the world. This resource highlights the tangible opportunities for innovation and investment to deliver impact for people on the move.

The Poetry of Forced Migration – Malka al-Haddad and Loraine Masiya Mponela: In Conversation by Forced Migration and the Arts. This online event is an evening of poetry and conversation with poets Malka al-Haddad and Loraine Masiya Mponela. As part of the evening, Malka and Loraine will read and discuss each other’s and their work and share insights and reflections on the influences they draw on in their writing and activism. The readings and conversation will take place online on Thursday, 28 March 2024, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm UK time.

Why refugee students are more likely to drop out of pre-university programs by Cogitatio Press. This new podcast episode of Let’s Talk About covers the following: as refugee students increasingly pursue higher education, it is crucial to understand their unique needs and challenges. Jana Berg (German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies, Germany) explores the factors influencing refugee students’ dropout intentions in pre-study programs, which reveals an interplay of financial constraints, perceived exclusion, and language proficiency.

February 9 2024: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest


Bergmann, J. (2024). At risk of deprivation. Studien Zur Migrations- Und Integrationspolitik. This open-access book examines how and why various forms of climate (im)mobilities can impact people’s objective and subjective well-being. Worsening climate impacts force subsistence farmers worldwide to decide between staying or leaving their homes. This mixed methods study analyzes climate-related migration, displacement, relocation, and immobility cases in Peru’s coastal, highland, and rainforest regions. The results reveal that numerous farmers experienced profound and often negative well-being impacts, regardless of whether they stayed or migrated.

Jakobson, M.-L., King, R., Moroşanu, L., & Vetik, R. (2023). Migration and integration in turbulent times. IMISCOE Research Series, 1–17. This open-access book investigates this question in the present context of turbulent times when, instead of dealing with one crisis, migrants, governments, and whole societies have to cope with a complex web of multiple unsettling events that create anxieties about migration. Emphasizing a plurality of theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, and a variety of geographical settings in Europe and beyond, the chapters bring new insights into migrations produced by global political events, national political shifts, economic downturns and the Covid-19 pandemic. Migrants’ experiences and policy outcomes are emphasized. The result is an impressive rethinking of the concepts and terminology applied to migration and integration, of interest to students, social scientists, and policymakers.

Heck, G., Sevinin, E., Habersky, E., & Sandoval-García, C. (2024). Making routes: Mobility and Politics of Migrant in the Global South. The American University in Cairo Press. This book provides a fresh understanding of mobility flows, transnational linkages, and the politics of migration across the Global South, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Moving away from North–South, East–West binaries and challenging the conception that migratory movements are primarily unidirectional—from South to North—it explores how state policies, migrants’ trajectories, nationalism and discrimination, and art and knowledge production unfold in places as widespread as Egypt, Turkey, Myanmar, Nicaragua, and Haiti.

Pries, L., Calderón Morillón, O., & Estrada Ceron, B. A. (2023). Trajectories of forced migration: Central American migrants on their way toward the USA. Journal on Migration and Human Security. Migration dynamics from Central America to and through Mexico are mainly considered economic or mixed migration of people looking for work and a better life in the USA. Nevertheless, since the 2010s, the number of asylum applications in Mexico has skyrocketed. Based on a survey of Central American migrants in Mexico, the authors demonstrate that some (organized) violence was a crucial driver for leaving and a constant companion during their journey. After contextualizing the migration route from the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) toward Mexico, the authors present the design of the study, describe the sociodemographic and general contexts of the 350 interviewees, and present the migration trajectories as long-lasting sequences of events and stays, where violence in different forms always is at play.

Tiilikainen, M., Hiitola, J., Ismail, A. A., & Palander, J. (2023). From forced migration to the forced separation of families. IMISCOE Research Series, 3–14. This open-access book examines the impacts and experiences of family separation on forced migrants and their transnational families. It investigates how people with a forced migration background in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America experience separation from their families and how family and kin in the countries of origin or transit are impacted by the often precarious circumstances of their family members in receiving countries. This book provides new knowledge on the nexus between transnational family separation, forced migration, and everyday (in)security. Additionally, it yields comparative information for assessing the impacts of relevant legislation and administrative practice in several national contexts. Based on rich empirical data, including unique cases about South-South migration, the findings in this book are highly relevant to academics in migration and refugee studies as well as policymakers, legislators, and practitioners.

Vargas-Silva, C., Hagen-Zanker, J., Carling, J., Carrasco, I. J., Czaika, M., Godin, M., & Erdal, B. M. (2023). Tackling the root causes of migration. Mignex. The authors examine the options that policymakers have for tackling the root causes of migration, defined as improving the economic, social and political conditions in places of origin to reduce aspirations to migrate internationally by making it more feasible and desirable to stay. They discuss root causes on the concept’s own terms to make policy options clear, not to endorse it.


Bearing witness: Atrocities and looming hunger in Darfur. (2024). Refugees International. Twenty years on from the Darfur genocide, mass atrocities are once again underway in Darfur. As a larger war continues to ravage the country of Sudan, a disturbing new wave of ethnically targeted killing has been unleashed by a militia descended from the groups that carried out the original genocide. However, global action has been tepid and ineffective as the killings mount. With Darfur’s former peacekeeping mission now withdrawn, global diplomacy focused elsewhere, and wildly inadequate levels of aid, there is little in place to prevent the current atrocities from devolving into another mass-mortality catastrophe. Thus, these atrocities are driving mass forced displacement and growing humanitarian needs.

Gender dynamics in internal displacement. (2023). Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. This report is intended to improve understanding of gender inequalities linked with internal displacement and highlight ways forward to promote more inclusive and effective data collection, planning and responses. It begins by drawing from the latest primary data collected by IDMC and other organizations to explore the gendered risks and impacts of displacement. It then showcases promising examples of gender-responsive action to prevent and address the phenomenon, and highlights women’s role as agents of change. The final section takes stock of data sources on the issue and discusses tools and initiatives to address gaps.

Migration at the U.S.-Mexico border: A challenge decades in the making. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. This report examines the history of the federal government’s efforts to improve southwest border security in the modern era, beginning with the Clinton administration in 1993 and looking at subsequent changes during the Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations. The study identifies key developments in the evolution of U.S.-Mexico border security, including the changing origins and characteristics of migrants arriving at the border. The report also draws lessons from this long view of the border that may benefit policymakers and political leaders today. These include recognizing how the Department of Homeland Security’s mission has evolved, how vital interagency partnerships are, and that a transnational phenomenon such as irregular migration requires policies and international partnerships that stretch far beyond the border line itself.

Migration Outlook report: Electoral promises and quick fixes, asylum offshoring, and labour migration’s coming of age. (2024). International Centre for Migration Policy Development. The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) expects migration to be a pivotal topic in a year full of European, national, and regional elections. While many governments implement quick fixes ahead of their electoral cycles, opposition parties are tying their campaigns to migration-related promises. ICMPD’s 2024 Migration Outlook report forecasts record displacement levels resulting from war and conflict, leading to a further securitization of migration and offshoring of asylum procedures and a rise in secondary movements. These developments occur while labour migration is ‘coming of age’ in Europe.

Sudan: Situation report. (2024). The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Sudan is the ‘largest internal displacement crisis globally,’ hosting an estimated 9.05 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the end of 2023, about 13% of all IDPs worldwide. Some 6.1 million people have been internally displaced since the start of the conflict on 15 April 2023, including some 13,500 people newly displaced in the past week, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). UNHCR’s designated human rights expert for Sudan, Radhouane Nouicer, reported multiple human rights violations in Sudan, including extrajudicial killings, unlawful detention, torture, beatings, and sexual violence. 

Summary of the Global Refugee Forum 2023 by the co-hosts and co-convenors. (2024). The UN Refugee Agency. This report summarizes the Global Refugee Forum 2023 that took place from 13 to 15 December in Geneva, Switzerland, with linked events held in other locations from 11 December. Held every four years, the Forum is the world’s largest international gathering on refugees, designed to support the practical implementation of the objectives set out in the Global Compact on Refugees: Ease pressures on host countries, enhance refugee self-reliance, increase access to third-country solutions and improve conditions in countries of origin


Quake survivors in northwest Syria feel abandoned amid aid cuts and glacial rebuild by Moawia Atrash, February 6, 2024. The New Humanitarian. One year after deadly earthquakes destroyed entire villages in northern Syria, tens of thousands of people who were displaced by the disaster still have nowhere to call home, as local conflict intensifies but international attention points elsewhere and aid funding dwindles. The days and weeks after the 6 February disaster were chaotic in southern Türkiye and northern Syria, with people scrambling to both take shelter and help however they could. The death toll eventually rose to more than 55,000 between the two countries.

How the ICJ could shape protection for people displaced in the context of climate change by Jane McAdam, January 24, 2024. Researching Internal Displacement. The forthcoming Advisory Opinion by the International Court of Justice will provide a weighty, rigorous and contemporary legal analysis of States’ legal obligations concerning climate change and human rights. This opinion piece describes how the court’s response to the request for an Advisory Opinion, led by Vanuatu, might influence protection for people at risk of displacement in the context of climate change.

Paving pathways for inclusion: 3 levers countries can use to include refugees in education systems by Arthur Borkowski, Lily Calaycay, and Bindu Sunny, January 30, 2024. Global Partnership for Education. Over 36 million refugees around the globe, many of whom are school-aged children, continue to grapple with the instability that defines their new reality. Each step they take—from crossing international borders seeking safety to navigating the complex pathways toward education and local integration—is fraught with uncertainty. With protracted crises causing prolonged periods of displacement, the inclusion of refugees within national education systems can help mitigate this uncertainty and equip them with the tools to rebuild their lives.

Sudan conflict fuels world’s largest internal displacement by Mohamed Osman, January 31, 2024. Human Rights Watch. Last week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that 10.7 million people have been uprooted from their homes in Sudan, including 9 million displaced internally—two-thirds since the conflict broke out in April 2023. Sudan now has the highest rate of internal displacement in the world, even surpassing Syria’s 7.2 million. The author argues that this grim record should be a wake-up call.

Where do Ukrainian refugees in EU go after 2025? by Sheraz Akhtar and Patrick Keeney, January 23, 2024. EU Observer. Due to the ongoing Ukrainian-Russian war, millions of Ukrainian refugees have fled to EU countries, where they were met with generous and unprecedented support. Ukrainian refugees have encountered numerous challenges. As with anyone who flees from a war, it can be psychologically distressing to leave behind loved ones, community ties, and homes on short notice, not knowing what the future holds. In the host countries, refugees face housing issues, rising inflation, difficulty in securing decent jobs, a higher risk of exploitation, and language barriers, which are some of the critical predicaments they encounter.


Are the Pacific’s climate migration experiments a Preview for the world? by Changing Climate, Changing Migration. A landmark climate migration deal inked in late 2023 would allow hundreds of climate-vulnerable residents of the small island nation of Tuvalu to move to Australia. The pact is the latest step for a region that is at the leading edge globally in policy experimentation to address climate displacement. This Australia-Tuvalu deal, which is not uncontroversial, follows a brief and ultimately shelved attempt by New Zealand to create a “climate refugee” visa. How are these policies playing out, and what can the rest of the world learn from the Pacific experiences? This episode features renowned legal scholar Jane McAdam, who directs the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW.

Beyond Livelihoods: A Protracted Displacement Economy Approach by Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. Mutual aid, feminist economics and film in displacement affected communities. This podcast research seminar will present findings and short films from qualitative and quantitative fieldwork conducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Myanmar, and Pakistan. The findings are from the Protracted Displacement Economies project based at the University of Sussex.

Evacuations as displacement by Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. This talk about evacuations as displacement will be led by Jane McAdam AO, Scientia Professor of Law and Director of the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW. The event will take place on February 14, 2024, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM GMT on Zoom.

Global approaches to refugee response – what difference can they make? by Amanda Gray Meral and Jeffery Crisp, ODI. In recent times, many thousands of Afghan refugees have been forcibly repatriated from Pakistan, while Egypt’s border has been closed to prevent the arrival of Palestinians from Gaza. In Bangladesh, 1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar live an increasingly precarious existence, unable to settle in the country or go back to their homes. Meanwhile, the UK government has been making intense efforts to implement an agreement that would allow newly arrived asylum seekers to be deported to Rwanda. As these examples suggest, refugees around the world are not accessing the protection, solutions and assistance to which they are entitled. The second Global Refugee Forum (GRF) with hundreds of delegates from the international aid sector met in Geneva in mid-December 2023.

Refugee protection at Europe’s borders: Problems and proposals for change by Jeffery Crisp for the University of Oxford. Razor-wire fences and naval blockades. Pushbacks on land and at sea. Physical punishment by border guards, militia forces and vigilante groups. Detention without trial and confinement to squalid camps. Deportation deals with states that abuse human rights. These are just a few of the methods that European states are employing to obstruct and deter the arrival of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from other parts of the world. As a result, people who are on the move and hoping to find security in the region are subjected to many different forms of inhumane treatment, in many cases violating the international and European human rights treaties that states have freely signed.

January 25 2024: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest


d’Orsi, C. (2023). One step forward, half step back: The still long way to go to end statelessness in Madagascar. African Human Mobility Review, 9(3). This work discusses the still unresolved plight of statelessness in Madagascar. Despite several important steps undertaken to eradicate statelessness in the country, the path to the complete eradication of statelessness in the country still seems quite long. This is because of the lack of will by local authorities who seem to ignore the conditions of thousands of people born and bred in Madagascar who, apparently for no specific reason, still do not hold Malagasy citizenship, causing them to be deprived of several basic rights that citizens are usually entitled to. In this respect, the fact that Madagascar is still not a party to several important international legal instruments adopted to eradicate statelessness does not facilitate the situation of the thousands of stateless people in Madagascar.

İçduygu, A., & Gören, H. (2023). Exploring temporal and topical dynamics of research on climate/environment–migration nexus: A critical comparative perspective. Migration Studies, 11(4), 572-597. Climate/environmental change and human migration research have significantly transformed since the early 1990s. Attention by migration-related journals and environment/climate-oriented journals has been uneven. What is absent is a critical comparative approach to this unevenness and the evolving dynamics of the nexus in a continuum. The researchers conducted a critical comparative analysis of six scholarly journals to fill this gap.

Lokot, M., Hartman, E. & Hashmi, I. (2023). Participatory approaches and methods in gender equality and gender-based violence research with refugees and internally displaced populations: A scoping review. Conflict & Health, 17 (58). Using participatory approaches or methods is often positioned as a strategy to tackle power hierarchies in research. Despite momentum on decolonizing aid, humanitarian actors have struggled to describe what the ‘participation’ of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) means in practice. However, it is not clear if and how these critiques apply to gender-based violence (GBV) and gender equality—topics that often innately include power analysis and seek to tackle inequalities. This scoping review explored how refugee and IDP participation is conceptualized within research on GBV and gender equality. Researchers suggest that future research should articulate more clearly what constitutes participation, consider incorporating feminist research methods, take more intentional steps to engage refugees and IDPs, ensure compensation for their participation, and include more explicit reflection and strategies to address power imbalances.

Sackett, B., & Lareau, A. (2023). We thought it would be heaven: Refugees in an unequal America. University of California Press. After fleeing conflict and enduring years of displacement, many refugees hope that resettlement to the United States will offer a place of refuge—a land of opportunity. Instead, they quickly find that it is also a land of inequality. Based on observations and interviews with Congolese refugees, aid workers, and volunteers, Sackett and Lareau reveal how a daunting obstacle course of services and agencies can derail newcomers’ trajectories in the United States. Seemingly small organizational errors—missing a deadline, mistaking a rule, or misplacing a form—tangle processes and block access to crucial resources. For some, these obstacles impeded socioeconomic mobility. Others, with support, were able to overcome obstacles to unlock key resources, buy houses, and send their children to college. Heaven. This book explains how large-scale policies and social programs transform the lives of refugee families, both helping and hindering their efforts to get ahead.

Thinyane M., Fournier-Tombs, E., & Molinario, G. (2023). The digital dynamics of migration: Insights from the Ukrainian crisis. Migration Research Series, N° 78. International Organization for Migration (IOM), Geneva. This Migration Research Series paper examines the digital dynamics of Ukrainian migrants and the implications of digital trends, such as online activism and remote work, on migration and displacement. The authors employ an aspirations and capabilities analytical lens to investigate the different facets of the digital lives of Ukrainian migrants. The authors argue that centring the analysis on the individual and collective capabilities and aspirations of the migrants allows for a nuanced understanding of migration and the role of digital technologies in the migration story and ultimately offers suggestions for enhancing the digital lives of migrants.

Vankova, Z. (2023). Refugee labour mobility to the EU: A tool contributing to fairer sharing of responsibilities in the context of forced displacement? Refugee Survey Quarterly. The idea of facilitating labour mobility for refugees as a pathway for admission is back on the policy agenda. However, a significant shortcoming of work-based pathways is that, in most cases, they do not lead directly to a durable solution but instead offer “a journey to a durable solution” based on temporary residence permits. This begs the question, to what extent can we rely on such pathways to support responsibility sharing, and what happens in cases where beneficiaries of such complementary pathways lose residence rights? By comparing the different approaches applied to Ukrainian and Syrian refugees in the European Union, this article concludes that refugee labour mobility in its current state has the potential to contribute to fairer responsibility-sharing only cumulatively with other durable solutions and complementary pathways and when it provides admission facilitation coupled with a fast and clear path to permanent residence or legal mechanisms, ensuring possibilities for extension of residence rights and legality of stay.


A tale of two contexts: The Ukrainian and Afghan refugee crises in Canada and the UK. (2023). Dalhousie University & University of Oxford. A Tale of Two Contexts is a comparative study that contrasts the approaches of Canada and the UK in accommodating Ukrainian and Afghan refugees. This study scrutinizes the criteria that classify refugees as deserving or undeserving of governmental protection. The insights derived from this comparative study are set to offer substantive recommendations to policymakers in Canada and the UK. The aim is to enhance the design and implementation of international and temporary protection measures for migrants and optimize transit and resettlement procedures for those displaced by turmoil and global emergencies.

Confronting compassion fatigue: Understanding the arc of public support for displaced populations in Turkey, Colombia, and Europe. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. This report examines the ebb and flow of public support for forced migrants in these three cases – displaced populations in Turkey, Colombia, and Europe. It highlights factors that have contributed to initial widespread solidarity, how support has been sustained over time, and when and why it begins to fade. The report concludes by drawing lessons from these case studies on what policymakers can do to better anticipate and address compassion fatigue.

Expanding protection options? Flexible approaches to status for displaced Syrians, Venezuelans, and Ukrainians. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. This report—part of the Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World initiative led by MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung—examines the cases of Syria, Venezuela and Ukraine, identifying similarities in the approaches taken to offering protection while recognizing the differences between the cases. The study explores the factors underpinning government decisions and their medium- to long-term implications, concluding with thoughts on what can be learned for future international displacement crises.

World development report 2023: Migrants, refugees, and societies. (2023). The World Bank. This report proposes an integrated framework to maximize the development impacts of cross-border movements on both destination and origin countries and migrants and refugees themselves. The framework it offers, drawn from labour economics and international law, rests on a “match and motive” matrix that focuses on two factors: how closely migrants’ skills and attributes match the needs of destination countries and what motives underlie their movements. This approach enables policymakers to distinguish between different types of movements and to design migration policies for each. The authors conclude that international cooperation will be critical to the effective management of migration.

World report 2024: Events of 2023. (2023). Human Rights Watch. The latest edition of Human Rights Watch’s annual human rights survey summarizes the human rights situation in over 100 countries and territories around the world. 


Canada weighing extra border measures for asylum seekers from Mexico, minister says by Steve Scherer, January 21, 2024. Reuters. Canada is weighing several measures to prevent Mexican nationals from flying into the country to request asylum, a top official said on Sunday, after Quebec’s premier said earlier this week that the lack of visa requirements for Mexican travellers meant more refugees were arriving by plane. Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc said he and Immigration Minister Marc Miller were considering visas and other measures.

Between a rock and a hard place: the EU’s transactional approach to migration. (2024). Mixed Migration Centre. Since 2016, the combination of two trends—the increasing political importance of migration within the EU and the volatile political and security outlook in Africa—continues to shape the draft of a broader European strategic vision for migration. This essay examines the EU’s evolving and changing relationship with North Africa in terms of building migration policy and using North Africa to support the EU’s migration agenda.

In Lebanon, young Syrians sleep out in the open to avoid night-time deportation raids by Omar Hamed Beato, January 18, 2024. The New Humanitarian. For some young men among the more than 300,000 registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon’s eastern Beqaa Valley, sleeping outside feels like the safest option amid an ongoing wave of deportations to Syria, where a 12-year war rattles on, and returnees fear government reprisals. The New Humanitarian spoke with Ali, a 38-year-old Syrian refugee who spends his nights out in the open on the outskirts of the Beqaa Valley town where his family has a tent in one of the clutch of informal camps, which offers little protection from the harsh winter conditions. 

‘Nobody sees me’: Photographing displacement in Burkina Faso’s capital by Warren Saré and Giulia Tringali, January 10, 2024. The New Humanitarian. More than 30,000 Burkinabé have made their way down to the capital city, Ouagadougou, over the past few years, escaping a jihadist conflict that has enveloped large parts of the country and displaced more than two million people overall. Yet, despite the city’s safety and employment opportunities, the displaced people have been struggling with high rents and a lack of assistance and recognition from humanitarian organizations and different governments.

Often Shut Out of the Financial System, Refugees and Other Migrants Face Economic Integration Challenges by Ting Zhang, December 6, 2023. Migration Policy Institute. Globally, significant strides have been made in recent years to expand affordable financial services to marginalized populations. Services such as low-cost microcredit and mobile money transfers have helped millions of people obtain loans, build credit, and benefit from an advanced, global financial system. Nevertheless, many refugees and other migrants in the Global North can encounter difficulties accessing financial services due to inadequate identification, discriminatory business practices, and limited financial literacy, among other challenges. These barriers can prevent migrants from fully integrating into their host communities. They can have broad ripple effects, given that a bank account is often essential to access formal employment, obtain housing, and manage expenses.

Q&A: 2023 migration and forced displacement, in review by Eric Reidy, December 22, 2023. The New Humanitarian. This piece summarizes an interview with Bram Frouws, director of the Mixed Migration Centre (MMC),  on migration and forced displacement developments and trends in the past year. He discussed the significant gap between what research evidence suggests would be a humane and sustainable way to manage migration and the debates that drive the migration policies that are actually adopted. The interview also covers the importance of correcting misperceptions about climate migration and how many people migrate from the Global South to the Global North; the MMC’s documentation of the shocking killing of Ethiopian asylum seekers and migrants in Yemen by Saudi Arabian border guards; the dramatic rise in people crossing the Darién Gap between Colombia and Panama; and other major migration and forced displacement developments around the world. 


How can we better support refugees? | The development podcast limited series: A world free of poverty on a liveable planet by The World Bank. In this episode—the hosts ask the questions—How can we better support the world’s growing number of refugees and their host communities? What economic benefits can refugee integration bring to societies? The podcast features Abdullahi Mire, a refugee education advocate and winner of the 2023 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award, and insights from Kenyan entrepreneur Nancy Karambo Riungu. Discussions with Raouf Mazou (UN Refugee Agency) and Xavier Devictor (The World Bank) explore how various sectors can better support refugees.

Refugees: living with loss of identity, family, language, culture and home by SBS News. This Australian Special Broadcasting Services podcast explores the unique grief experience of refugees and asylum seekers. For refugees and asylum-seekers, grief is often a multi-layered experience. In many cases, they are navigating the loss of family, home and identity while trying to forge a new reality. The episode interviews individuals who have been refugees or asylum seekers to share their experiences.

“Refugees” or “Migrants”? How word choices affect rights and lives by The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR. This resource explains the importance of distinguishing between the words “refugees” and “migrants,” as all people who move between countries deserve full respect for their human rights and dignity. There are, however, different reasons and motivations for people to leave their homes and, consequently, different international legal obligations that arise and apply to those whose lives were, are, or may be at risk should they return.

December 1 2023: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest


Kurfalı, M. A., & Özçürümez, S. (2023). Residing without settling: Housing market and tactics of Syrian forced migrants in Turkey. Population, Space and Place, 29(8), e2700. This study examines the agency of forced migrants from Syria and their housing pathways in securing accommodation in a neoliberal housing market amidst increasing unwelcoming attitudes by the local population, no social housing, high dependence on rental housing prone to price hikes, and “temporary protection” legal status.

Lokot, M. (2023). Decision-Making, Violence, Resistance, and Love: Contested and Complicating Narratives of Syrian Marriages. Violence Against Women, 30(1), 31-53. Based on feminist ethnographic research with Syrian women and men in Jordan, this article explores marriages in historical and intersectional contexts before and during displacement. The article challenges common representations of Syrian marriages and advances how Syrian women’s power and agency are understood. It emphasizes women’s role in deciding to marry (or not) and discusses violence and love in marriage and resistance to proposed love marriages.

Masterson, D. (2023). Refugee Networks, cooperation, and Resource Access. American Political Science Review, 1–17. Without formal avenues for claims-making or political participation, refugees must find their own means of securing services from state and non-state providers. This article asks why some refugee communities are more effective than others in mitigating community problems.  The author uses a framework for understanding how refugees’ social networks shape the constraints and capabilities for collective action.

Streitwieser, B., Summers, K. & Crist, J. (Eds.). (2023.) Accessing Quality Education: Local and Global Perspectives from Refugees. Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield. This book shares the experiences of refugees settled in the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia area (DMV) over the last ten years and their journeys back into education. What motivated their paths to access and success in education? What were their dreams and aspirations? What obstacles stood in their way, and how did they overcome them? Who helped them along the way? What advice do they have for others experiencing displacement? Finally, what can institutions and policymakers do to integrate them more successfully?

Turner, L. (2023). Who is a Refugee in Jordan? Hierarchies and Exclusions in the Refugee Recognition Regime. Journal of Refugee Studies, 1-20. This article dissects the refugee recognition regime in Jordan. The author argues that despite being conducted by UNHCR, refugee recognition is a heavily politicized process shaped by intersecting racial and national hierarchies, restrictive government regulations, and UNHCR policies. Despite Jordan hosting the ‘second highest share of refugees per capita in the world,’ relatively few protection seekers gain refugee status. When they do, it is almost always part of the resettlement process. Many remain asylum seekers for years or decades, while others cannot even register their claim for international protection with UNHCR. This article contributes to refugee studies by demonstrating how UNHCR policies change      RSD in non-signatory states. It highlights the importance of asylum/refugee registration, how state and humanitarian policies lead to some protection seekers being missed in academic analyses, and the ever-growing gap between the legal and ‘everyday’ uses of the term ‘refugee.’

Wray, H., Charsley, K., & Smith, L. (2023). Introduction to Special Issue: Family Migration in Times of Crisis. Migration Studies, 11(3), 363-379. This introduction to the Special Issue on Family Migration in Times of Crisis explains why the concept of crisis is a valuable prism to uncover new insights into family migration. For instance, crises present new risks and challenges for migrants and their families. The intersection of the temporalities of crisis with those of family migration can exacerbate periods of separation and subsequent stress and anxiety about how the family can reunify. 


Abuse, Corruption, and Accountability: Time to Reassess EU & U.S. Migration Cooperation with Tunisia. (November 16, 2023). Refugees International. Tunisia is now the principal departure point by sea for migrants and refugees seeking to transit to Europe and is struggling badly to manage the arrival and presence of a substantial population of displaced people from across Sub-Saharan Africa. Under pressure from Europe to curtail irregular migration in the Mediterranean and amidst domestic political and economic turmoil, the government of President Kais Saied is resorting to demagoguery and abuse in its ad hoc attempts to manage the challenge. This report verifies and documents that Tunisian security forces have committed grave and systematic abuses against refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrants. 

Canada Public Opinion about Immigration & Refugees. (2023). Environics Institute for Survey Research and Century Initiative. 2023 has been a year in which Canadians have become less satisfied with the direction of the country and more pessimistic about the state of the economy. At the same time, the country welcomed a record number of immigrants. Against this backdrop, the latest Focus Canada research shows there has been a significant increase in the belief that there is too much immigration to Canada, due in large part to a jump in the proportion citing concerns about how newcomers might be contributing to the current housing crisis. This reflects a dramatic shift since a year ago in terms of how the public views the number of immigrants being accepted, but there has been no comparable change in what Canadians think about immigrants themselves or the contribution they make to their communities and the country. 

Davidoff-Gore, S. & Le Coz, C. (2023). Migration and Displacement in Secondary Cities: Insights from Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda. Migration Policy Institute. The world is becoming increasingly urbanized, driven by long-standing patterns of rural-urban migration and the growth of new small and mid-sized cities. While sprawling megacities often receive the most policy and public attention, secondary cities are some of the fastest growing in many parts of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa. Migrants and displaced persons, often drawn to small and mid-sized cities by the promise of greater economic opportunities and better access to services than exist in rural areas, can nonetheless face a variety of challenges, as can the communities in which they settle. This study explores these dynamics in Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda.

McAdam, J. & Wood, T. (2023). Kaldor Centre Principles on Climate Mobility. UNSW Law & Justice. Climate change and disasters are already having far-reaching impacts on human mobility globally. In the absence of significant and scaled-up global mitigation and adaptation efforts, the risks posed by climate change are likely to continue, contributing to the movement of people both within countries and across international borders. A range of rights-based responses is needed to ensure that such a movement is safe and dignified. The Principles address a broad range of laws, policies and practices that can impact those who want to remain at home      and those who move. Holistic, interconnected, comprehensive and adaptable, they address all forms of mobility – displacement, migration, evacuations and planned relocations – as well as immobility.     


Darien Gap: As migrants take deadly risks for better lives, Canada and the U.S. must do much more by Tanya Basok and Guillermo Candiz, October 30, 2023. The Conversation. Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller recently announced that as many as 15,000 displaced people with extended family connections in Canada — most of them from Central or South America or the Caribbean — are now eligible to apply to immigrate to Canada on a humanitarian basis. By announcing this measure, Canada affirmed its commitment to a joint initiative known as Safe Mobility, launched by the United States in April 2023 to stem the irregular crossings of hundreds of thousands of people into the U.S. by offering alternatives. However, Canada’s recent announcement fails to make it clear whether admitting 15,000 displaced people is a one-off measure or whether Canada is setting an annual target.

From Ethiopia to South Africa: The human cost of a neglected migration route by Obi Anyadike, November 22, 2023. The New Humanitarian. Sometime in October last year, a truck stopped on a quiet road in northern Malawi’s Mtangatanga forest and offloaded 29 bodies. They had suffocated in the back of the vehicle and were hastily buried in shallow graves. The dead were Ethiopian men, aged between 25 and 40 – victims of a lucrative transnational smuggling network that funnels tens of thousands of people into southern Africa each year with little regard for their safety. They had entrusted their lives to an intricate – often abusive – system of people transporters. Their goal had been to reach South Africa, find work, and change the economic fortunes of their families.

‘It takes time to develop trust’: Refugees less likely to report health conditions, study finds by Penry Buckley and Aleisha Orr, November 5, 2023. SBS News. A new report reveals refugees and humanitarian entrants in Australia are much less likely to self-report cancer and mental health conditions and are also more likely to die from drowning. For instance, Among the outcomes, it found refugees were 60 percent less likely to report asthma and cancer than the rest of the Australian population and 50 percent less likely to report chronic lung conditions and mental health issues.

Supreme Judgecraft: non-refoulement and the end of the UK-Rwanda ‘deal’? by Catherine Briddick and Cathryn Costello, November 20, 2023. Verfassungsblog. The UK Supreme Court held that the Secretary of State’s policy to remove protection seekers to Rwanda was unlawful. Rwanda is not, at present, a safe third country. The Supreme Court found      “substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk that asylum claims will not be determined properly, and that asylum seekers will, in consequence, be at risk of being returned directly or indirectly to their country of origin.” Should this occur “refugees will face a real risk of ill-treatment in circumstances where they should not have been returned at all”. The authors argue that the Supreme Court’s legal reasoning and evidential assessment are impeccable, applying legal principles well-embedded in international and domestic law to clear evidence. However, the UK government’s responses are deeply troubling from the perspectives of refugee protection, international legality, and the rule of law in the UK.

Unpacking Elon Musk’s convoluted U.S.-Mexico border visit by Yvonne Su, November 5, 2023. The Conversation. In late September, Elon Musk, the tech billionaire behind Tesla and SpaceX, set the internet ablaze with his visit to the Texas-Mexico border to provide what he called an “unfiltered” perspective on the border crisis as thousands of migrants, mainly from Venezuela, crossed the Rio Grande River. Musk’s position on immigration appears convoluted. On the one hand, he says he is “extremely pro-immigrant,” given he is an immigrant to the United States himself, yet he peddles right-wing anti-refugee rhetoric. 


Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture 2023 | Who Gets Believed? A conversation with Dina Nayeri by the University of Oxford. This lecture discusses Dina Nayeri’s new book, “Who Gets Believed?” It combines deep reportage with her life experience to examine what constitutes believability in our society. Intent on exploring ideas of persuasion and performance, the speaker takes us behind the scenes in emergency rooms, corporate boardrooms, asylum interviews, and into her own family to ask – where lies the difference between being believed and being dismissed? What does this mean for our culture? 

Five podcasts about refugees you need to listen to by The UN Refugee Agency Australia for UNHCR. Since podcasts are a great way to learn about refugees and displaced people, this resource lists the best podcasts to learn about refugees. The common theme of these podcasts is that they spotlight firsthand stories of refugees and displaced people.
Key informant interviews: a practical guide for refugee and displacement researchers by Jeffery Crisp for the University of Oxford. Interviews with key informants are important to      any research project dealing with refugee, displacement and humanitarian issues. Whether you are talking to a politician, a government official, a UN or NGO employee or a civil society leader, they provide an invaluable means of gaining access to factual and topical information, an understanding of the historical context of your project, as well as ideas, insights and opinions that can shed new and different light on the evidence you have collected by other means. This resource provides 8 key guidelines based on the author’s experience as an interviewer and interviewee over the past 40 years.
Refugee Protection and AAA and others (2023-4) | Panel 1: International Refugee Law and Safe Third Countries by the University of Oxford. This series of panel discussions examines the arguments advanced in R (on the application of AAA and others) v SSHD and analyzes its implications for Rwanda, the UK, and refugee protection more broadly. The panels bring together speakers whose expertise and experience make them uniquely placed to explore the consequences of the Supreme Court’s judgement from a range of jurisdictional, institutional, political and legal perspectives.

November 10 2023: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 140


Acker, S. (2023). Beauty and beautification in refugees’ lives and their implications for refugee policy. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 39(1), 1–46. This article seeks to understand the significance of everyday beauty in refugees’ lives and its implications for refugee policy. It demonstrates how beauty and beautification play an active role in how refugees (re)make home, even in temporary situations. Beauty is used to build hope, celebrate culture, create community, and honour past and present realities, and therefore has significant implications for the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees. The role of beauty in refugee homemaking suggests challenging the narrow focus on durable solutions to a more holistic framework, transforming language and policy approaches to include refugees as decision-makers, and investing in the quality of shelters, camps, and homes as a more effective way to reduce pressure on host countries.

 Al-Janaideh, R., Abdulkarim, M., Speidel, R., Filippelli, J., Colasante, T., & Malti, T. (2023). A community-based needs assessment of resettled Syrian refugee children and families in Canada. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 39(1), 1–29. A needs assessment was conducted to identify the needs, challenges, and strengths of Syrian refugee children and families resettled in Canada and of services for them. The results indicated significant needs and challenges experienced by refugees (e.g., persistent mental health issues, lack of in-person support), as well as challenges related to refugee services (e.g., discontinuity of mental health services). Several refugee strengths (e.g., optimism for the future and strong familial ties) and refugee service strengths (e.g., service collaboration), highlight refugees’ adaptive capacities and points of service leverage to ensure refugees’ well-being and positive resettlement.

Culcasi, K. (2023). Displacing Territory: Syrian and Palestinian Refugees in Jordan”. University of Chicago Press. This piece explores how the lived realities of refugees are deeply affected by their imaginings of what constitutes territory and their sense of belonging to different places and territories. The author shows how these individual conceptualizations about territory do not always fit the Western-centric division of the world into states and territories, thus revealing alternative or subordinated forms and scales of territory. She also argues that disproportionate attention to “refugee crises” in the Global North has diverted focus from other parts of the world that bear the responsibility of protecting the majority of the world’s refugees. By focusing on Jordan, a Global South state that hosts the world’s second-largest number of refugees per capita, this book provides insights to consider alternate ways to handle the situation of refugees elsewhere. In the process, Culcasi brings the reader into refugees’ diverse realities through their own words, inherently arguing against the tendency of many people in the Global North to see refugees as aberrant, burdensome, or threatening.

Derksen, M., & Teixeira, C. (2023). Refugees and religious institutions in a mid-size Canadian city. Population, Space and Place, 29(5), e2653. This study explores how religious institutions affect refugee settlement in Kelowna, a mid-size city in British Columbia. Kelowna has had a significant increase in refugee sponsorship since the 2015 Syrian crisis, and most private sponsorship has involved churches and the local mosque in collaboration with government-funded settlement services and community partners. The results reveal that religious institutions help refugees cope with barriers and challenges in Kelowna in three main ways: bridging language barriers between newcomers, service providers, and sponsorship providers; helping newcomers establish new lives in Kelowna and move toward integration; and helping newcomers move away from precarity toward prosperity as they re-establish themselves and their families.

Schenck, Marcia C. & Reed, K. (2023). The Right to Research: Historical Narratives by Refugee and Global South Researchers. McGill/Queens University Press. Refugees and displaced people rarely figure as historical actors and rarely as historical narrators. We often assume a person residing in a refugee camp, lacking funding, training, social networks, and other material resources that enable the research and writing of academic history, cannot be a historian because a historian cannot be a person residing in a refugee camp. The Right to Research disrupts this tautology by featuring nine works by refugee and host-community researchers across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Identifying the intrinsic challenges of making space for diverse voices within a research framework and infrastructure that is inherently unequal, this edited volume offers a critical reflection on what history means, who narrates it, and what happens when those long excluded from authorship bring their knowledge and perspectives to bear. Chapters address topics such as education in Kakuma Refugee Camp, the political power of hip-hop in Rwanda, women migrants to Yemen, and the development of photojournalism in Kurdistan.​​

Warren, K. (2023). Emotions in crisis: Consequences of ceremonial refugee camp visits to Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 39(1), 1–18. Research on refugee resettlement frequently overlooks the larger context of the experience of forced migration. As a result, the micro-level interactions between refugees and the bureaucrats who make resettlement decisions are hidden. We can better understand the socio-political dynamics between refugees and the officials deciding their resettlement cases if we approach encounters between refugees and migration officials during ceremonial visits as sites of emotional exchange. This article examines the complex socio-political emotional exchanges of power and vulnerability that underpin the refugee resettlement process through an ethnographic analysis of Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal.

Xhardez, C., & Soennecken, D. (2023). Temporary Protection in Times of Crisis: The European Union, Canada, and the Invasion of Ukraine. Politics and Governance, 11(3). This article compares the policy responses of the EU and Canada to the crisis in Ukraine, focusing on the two temporary protection schemes and differentiating between their overarching goals, policy instruments, and settings. While the policies may seem similar initially, a closer examination reveals underlying disparities, contradictions, and complexities, particularly when analyzing the precise policy instruments and settings. Considering that the past informs contemporary policy trajectories, they suggest that while the two programs build on the respective regions’ historical and political contexts, crises also create opportunities for change, raising questions about the future direction of immigration policy in both regions.


 Fratzke, S., Pulkkinen, V., & Ugolini, E. (2023). From safe homes to sponsors: Lessons from the Ukraine hosting response for refugee sponsorship programs. Migration Policy Institute. This policy brief examines the implementation of private hosting initiatives for displaced Ukrainians in a range of European countries. It situates these programs within the broader evolution of private welcoming and sponsorship initiatives in Europe and identifies key successes and limitations. The brief also offers recommendations that could help civil society, governments, and the European Union further develop hosting initiatives and refine refugee resettlement and community sponsorship programs.

Marks, J. (2023). By land or by sea: Syrian refugees weigh their futures. Refugees International. After 12 years of war, nearly 5.2 million Syrian refugees in Türkiye, Lebanon, and Jordan are caught in an increasingly untenable limbo. Host countries are normalizing relations with the Syrian government and are eager for refugees to depart, even though there is no foreseeable prospect of them ever safely returning to Syria. The time has come for a serious global conversation on durable solutions for Syrian refugees—one that acknowledges the impossibility of return and grapples seriously with expanded local integration and global resettlement.

Omata, N. & Gidrom, Y. (2023). Refugee entrepreneurship in Rwanda. University of Oxford. This research brief shows how refugees take advantage of their freedom of movement to establish trade networks and engage with the Rwandan economy, explores some of the differences between refugee enterprises in Mahama and Kigali, and includes recommendations for policymakers and development and humanitarian actors for enhancing the feasibility and impact of entrepreneurship support for refugees in Rwanda.

Ugolini, E., & Damian Smith, C. (2023). Why matching matters: Improving outcomes in refugee sponsorship and complementary pathways. Migration Policy Institute. This policy brief explores the evolution of community sponsorship, complementary pathways, and resettlement programs’ approaches to matching refugees with sponsors or receiving communities and highlights opportunities for further innovation. The analysis includes a close look at novel approaches to matching developed by initiatives responding to high-profile emergencies, including the Ukrainian displacement crisis.


Canada-U.S. refugee pact changes expected to ‘exacerbate existing threats’: memo by Jim Bronskill, October 21, 2023. CityNews Everywhere. This news article is about how a newly released memo shows federal officials warned last spring that expanding a bilateral refugee pact to the entire Canada-U.S. border would likely fuel smuggling networks and encourage people to seek more dangerous, remote crossing routes.

Palestinians in Lebanon’s largest refugee camp brace for another round of conflict by Hanna Davis and Haisam el-Hreich, October 25, 2023. The New Humanitarian. Hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza are threatening to spill over into Lebanon, raising fears in the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp for Palestinians that residents still recovering from earlier unrest could once again see their lives upended. Since Hamas, the Palestinian political and militant group that governs the Gaza Strip, launched a deadly incursion into Israel on 7 October, the clashes have largely subsided. However, residents fear another round of conflict, this time triggered by an expansion of the Gaza war into Lebanon.

Shahrzad and 21 other women just walked from Melbourne to Canberra. Here’s why by Niv Sadrolodabaee and Carl Dixon, October 23, 2023. SBS Language. Twenty-two women, who have joined a dozen asylum seekers who protested at Parliament House, completed a 700 km protest walk from Melbourne to Canberra. The protesters, mostly on temporary or bridging visas, are demanding a resolution to their visa status.

Yesterday’s crisis: Australia cuts aid to Rohingya refugees by Stephen Howes, October 24, 2023. Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre. This article discusses how Rohingya people living in Bangladesh are struggling due to the spread of scabies and malnutrition. However, Australia is cutting aid to Rohingya refugees due to donor fatigue and shifting priorities, as the Pacific is their focus.

Why Egypt and other Arab countries are unwilling to take in Palestinian refugees from Gaza by Jack Jeffery and Samy Magdy, October 18, 2023. Associated Press. The article discusses why neighbouring countries are not taking in Palestinian refugees from Gaza. It discusses that their refusal is rooted in fear that Israel wants to force a permanent expulsion of Palestinians into their countries and nullify Palestinian demands for statehood. The President of Egypt also said a mass exodus would risk bringing militants into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, from where they might launch attacks on Israel, endangering the two countries’ 40-year-old peace treaty.


A Cold Climate for Refugee Women? (WiRL Seminar Series 2023/24 Seminar One) by Women in Refugee Law (WiRL). This will be the first in a series of free online seminars hosted by the Women in Refugee Law (WiRL) network on the 2023/24 theme of “Refuge in a cold climate: the impact on women.” These are public events, ideal for anyone whose work relates to refugee or asylum-claiming women or with an interest in the needs and experiences of refugee women. This series will draw on WiRL’s global membership to apply a gendered lens in analyzing the impact of increasing hostility to refugees in different states and contexts. Seminar One: A Cold Climate for Refugee Women? Mon, 27 Nov 2023 15:30 – 16:45 GMT.

A Multi-Sector World Café to Promote the Mental Health of Refugees in BC by UBC Centre for Migration Studies. The purpose of the World Café is to convene and collaborate with service users, health practitioners, settlement service providers, and policymakers to gain your expertise and knowledge about what you think to work to promote integrated mental health services and support for people who have experienced migration, such as refugees. It will take place on November 28, 2023, 11:45 AM – 4:00 PM PST at Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

Refugee women get on the tools to build new lives by ABC Listen. This podcast episode is about how arriving in a new country can be terrifying and exhilarating in equal measure, even more so when you are a refugee. There are more than 11,000 refugee migrant women around the Hunter Valley in Australia — many of them have come from countries where they may not have had a chance to get an education or where they have been treated as second-class citizens. Now, a new local course aims to empower these women and give them skills they never thought they could learn — all in the male-dominated construction field.

October 26 2023: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 139

A message from the RRN Team

We want to warmly welcome everyone to the new academic year, even though it is a bit belated. As the world keeps experiencing significant events, the importance of conducting strong research on refugee matters, displacement, and resilience has never been more critical. Therefore, we are thrilled to announce that our RRN Research Digest will once again be published bi-weekly for this academic year.

We are also delighted to introduce our newest team member, Celina Lieu, who will now coordinate the research digest. Handing over the reins to younger scholars reflects RRN’s dedication to growth, fostering fresh perspectives, and ensuring the sustainability of our research endeavors.

We sincerely appreciate your contributions to open-access research and encourage you to keep sharing all of your relevant work with us. It greatly enhances the content of the RRN Research Digest. Please reach out to Celina at with your submissions and ideas.

Warm regards,

The RRN Team


Barnes, J., & Theule, J. (2023). Examining associations between maternal trauma, child attachment security, and child behaviours in refugee families. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 39(1), 1–17. The article examines post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depressive symptoms in refugee mothers and the relationships between maternal trauma, child attachment security, and child internalizing and externalizing behaviours. The findings of the study suggest that child attachment security may protect against maternal trauma.

Clark-Kazak, C. (2023). “Why care now” in forced migration research? : Imagining a radical feminist ethics of care. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 22(4), 1151–1173. This article lays out the ethical, epistemological, and methodological reasons for radical care ethics in research on forced migration. Drawing on a growing body of literature and recent initiatives to codify ethics in forced migration studies, it highlights the transformational potential of a radical feminist care approach to the “ethical turn” in the field. 

Clark-Kazak, C. (2023). Research across borders: An introduction to interdisciplinary, cross-cultural methodology. University of Toronto Press. Research across Borders introduces key concepts and methods to understand and critically analyze research in academic books and journals, as well as in media, government reports, and anywhere else information is found. This book addresses the opportunities and challenges of undertaking research in international, cross-border, and cross-cultural contexts.

Collyer, M., & Uttara, S. (2023). Offshoring refugees: Colonial echoes of the UK-Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership. Social Sciences 12: 451
British proposals to forcibly deport asylum seekers to Rwanda have raised fierce opposition from across the political spectrum in the UK and internationally. Colonial policies of forcible removal, relocation, displacement, and dispersal around the Empire are well established. The article draws attention to these longer histories before investigating more recent cases of the dispersal of refugees within the British Empire in the twentieth century, and the colonial practices of forcible displacement of individuals inform the current agreement between the UK and Rwanda is highlighted in this paper.  

Henningsen, G. (2023). Big Data for the Prediction of Forced Displacement. International Migration Review. In recent years, UNHCR has intensified its efforts to integrate various data sources, ranging from satellite imagery to newspapers to online digital data, into estimates of refugees and persons of concern. These novel data sources offer the opportunity to improve planning about early warning and acute crisis situations. This paper outlines the potential of big data and presents examples of how some of those data sources are currently used in the organization. 

Hynie, M., Oda, A., Calaresu, M., Kuo, B. C., Ives, N., Jaimes, A., Bokore, N., Beukeboom, C., Ahmad, F., Arya, N., Samuel, R., Farooqui, S., Palmer-Dyer, J.-L., & McKenzie, K. (2023). Access to virtual mental healthcare and support for refugee and immigrant groups: A scoping review. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 25(5), 1171–1195. Immigrant and refugee populations face multiple barriers to accessing mental health services. This scoping review applies the Patient-Centred Access to Healthcare model in exploring the potential of increased access through virtual mental healthcare services for these populations by examining the affordability, availability/accommodation, and appropriateness and acceptability of virtual mental health interventions and assessments. 

Lepp, A., & Gerasimov, B. (2023). Editorial: Labour, migration, and exploitation during COVID-19 and lessons (not) learnt. Anti-Trafficking Review, (21), 1–15. This article reviews the impacts of COVID-19 on labour, migration, and human trafficking. It outlines some of the main challenges internal and cross-border migrants faced during the pandemic, including closures of workplaces, deportations, lack of access to healthcare and social support, increasing xenophobia and racism, and more.

McNally, R. (2023). Equally Public and Private Refugee Resettlement: The Historical Development of Canada’s Joint Assistance Sponsorship Program. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 39(1), 1–17. For over 40 years, Canada’s Joint Assistance Sponsorship Program has combined government financial assistance, professional settlement services, and private sponsor settlement support for refugees with “special needs.” With high public and private involvement, the program offers another potential model for sponsorship, yet existing knowledge about the program is limited. This article explores the historical development of the program, highlighting three time periods: 1979–1981, when it launched; 1998–2001 when it welcomed thousands of Kosovars and expanded as selection criteria prioritized vulnerability; and 2014–2019, as it increasingly competed with other sponsorship programs. 

Pendakur, R., & Sarna, S. Mr Speaker: The changing nature of parliamentary debates on immigration in Canada. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue Canadienne de Sociologie, 00, 1-30. This article looks at the changing nature of political debates concerning immigration over a five-decade period in the Canadian House of Commons. In the 1990s, party views on immigration in Canada became more extreme when the Progressive Conservative Party split. The Liberal Party leaned more to the left, and the Reform/Alliance/Conservative parties moved further to the right and stayed that way until 2015. After that, the Conservatives and the Liberals started moving toward the middle. 

Pozuelo JR, Bradenbrink R, Stierna MF, and Sterck O. (2023). Depression, violence and socioeconomic outcomes among refugees in East Africa: Evidence from a multicountry representative survey. BMJ Mental Health, 26:1–8. Existing research on refugee mental health is heavily skewed towards refugees in high-income countries, even though most refugees (83%) are hosted in low-income and middle-income countries. This problem gets more complicated because the groups of people typically studied are not always representative, the samples are sometimes small, and not many people respond. This study aims to give accurate results about how many people from various refugee groups in East Africa have depression and what might be connected to it. 

Schenck, M.C. & Reed, K. (2023). The Right to Research: Historical Narratives by Refugee and Global South Researchers. McGill-Queen’s University Press. The Right to Research features nine works by refugee and host-community researchers across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. It identifies the intrinsic challenges of making space for diverse voices within a research framework and infrastructure that is inherently unequal. This edited volume offers a critical reflection on what history means, who narrates it, and what happens when those long excluded from authorship bring their knowledge and perspectives to bear. The chapters address topics such as education in Kakuma Refugee Camp, the political power of hip-hop in Rwanda, women migrants to Yemen, and the development of photojournalism in Kurdistan.

Ziersch, A., Loehr, N., & Miller, K. (2023). Discrimination in the private rental market in Australia: Large families from refugee backgrounds. Housing Studies, 1–25. This article examines the many challenges, such as discrimination, refugee and asylum seekers face in the private rental market, as securing appropriate housing is a crucial component of resettlement for people with refugee experience. Market factors and risk assessments were highlighted as contributing to discrimination and how agents’ and lessors’ working definitions of discrimination manifested in their tenant selection practices. While service providers and some agents sought to counter discriminatory practices, the significant impact of discriminatory housing practices for refugees and asylum seekers was evident and posed important policy and practice questions.   


Barbour, B. (2023). Asylum capacity development: Building new and strengthening existing systems.  Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law. Refugees are guaranteed a set of rights under international law. However, the asylum system that they encounter in the country where they seek refuge determines if they can enjoy those rights. An ‘asylum system’ can be understood as the legal, institutional, and social arrangements in place to meet the needs of refugees. Asylum capacity development (ACD) is the emerging area of policy and practice concerned with strengthening asylum systems. This Policy Brief sets out an approach to strengthen asylum systems, provides practical guidance by setting out a framework that can be used to evaluate existing or proposed asylum systems, and promotes a needs-based approach that seeks to develop capacities or scale them up to meet the identified needs of refugees.

Collins, J., Reid, C., Groutsis, D., Hughes, S., Watson, K., Kaabel, A. (2023). Refuge and family futures in Australia: Settlement outcomes of recently arrived refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. University of Sydney Business School and the MERCI@WResearch Group. The report looks at regional vs. metropolitan refugee settlement experiences and family, social class, and religious dimensions of the refugee settlement experience. It is enlivened by detailed quotes from the refugee adults and youth about their experiences, aspirations, hopes and concerns about their families’ lives in Australia. Settlement outcomes – education, language, employment and belonging – improved significantly over time (between 2017-2022). These evidence-based findings demonstrate that Australian refugee intakes can be substantially increased.

Shakespeare, M., Pham, L., Chitranshi, B., McMahon, T., Khorana, S., Magee, L. Bau, V. (2023). Foundations for Belonging 2023: Exploring refugees’ understanding and engagement with First Nations issues and histories. SSI/Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. This report covers a four-year research project on the resettlement journey of refugees in Australia, with the latest exploring how refugees understood Indigenous issues. The report found that knowledge of Indigenous history and its survival over thousands of years can inspire refugees and their children with a sense of safety to continue their own cultural traditions. It also noted that both refugees and Indigenous people’s experiences were often characterized as “deficient, singular and sensationalized.” 

Frensch, K., & Akesson, B. (2022). Socio-Spatial Initiatives to Foster Belonging Among Refugee Families Resettled in Canada: A Narrative Review and Future Directions. Centre for Research on Security Practices. Wilfrid Laurier University. This report discusses the impacts of displacement and resettlement on refugees and their families in an unfamiliar place. These impacts include every aspect of families’ socio-spatial environments, like cultural norms, religious traditions, and support networks. Most programs and policies that assist in resettling refugee families often do not explicitly address elements related to place, despite the importance of social and physical environments in the well-being and belonging of refugee families. This report looks at the initiatives that help refugee families maintain their cultural identities and connections with their country of origin and establish a new sense of belonging in their resettlement communities.

Refugee Council of Australia. (2023). Implementing the refugee participation pledge. The brief outlines how RCOA has progressed in its commitment as an organizational member of the Global Refugee-led Network to support the meaningful participation of refugees in decisions that affect their lives. The Global Refugee-led Network developed three objectives for implementing the Refugee Participation Pledge in the lead-up to the 2023 Global Refugee Forum scheduled for December in Geneva.  


Asylum seekers bring message to ministers’ front doors by Jane Salmon, September 28, 2023. Independent Australia. The article showcases how refugees have been holding peaceful vigils outside the offices of key ministers in Australia in a campaign for permanent visas. The majority of those attending are Iranians who are at odds with the current regime. 

Canada-U.S. refugee pact changes expected to ‘exacerbate existing threats’: memo by Jim Bronskill, October 21, 2023. The Canadian Press. A newly released memo shows federal officials warned last spring that expanding a bilateral refugee pact to the entire Canada-U.S. border would likely fuel smuggling networks and encourage people to seek more dangerous, remote crossing routes. Officials feared the development would also strain RCMP resources as irregular migrants dispersed more widely across the vast border. 

How Black African students experience forced displacement from Ukraine by Lindsey N Kingston and Igho Ekakitie, Forced Migration Review, September 2023. This article draws on interviews with 15 Black African students, aged 19 to 29, who were displaced from Ukraine in February 2022. The interviews centred on the decision-making processes that brought them to safety and their migration journeys. 

Rethinking forced migrants’ well-being: lessons from Ukraine by Reo Morimitsu and Supriya Akerkar, Forced Migration Review, September 2023. This article draws on a study examining levels of positive changes and their predictors among conflict-affected Ukrainian internally displaced persons. The focus was on post-traumatic growth, a phenomenon described as “positive psychological change experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances.” 

The role of media and information in supporting internally displaced women in Ukraine by Sally Gowland, Forced Migration Review, September 2023. This piece talks about the results of a study that sought to generate a comprehensive understanding of issues related to internally displaced Ukrainian women’s information and communication needs. 

The Supreme Court quashes immigration decisions that found two foreign nationals inadmissible to Canada, The Supreme Court of Canada, September 27, 2023. Earl Mason and Seifeslam Dleiow are foreign nationals in Canada who were both legally charged after an altercation. Following these incidents, officials at the Canada Border Services Agency prepared reports alleging that both Mr. Mason and Mr. Dleiow were inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). The Supreme Court has allowed their appeals. A person can only be found inadmissible to the country under section 34(1)(e) of the IRPA if they engage in violent conduct linked to national security or the security of Canada.  


How irregular migrants access support in cities by Maxime Felder (Cogitatio Press). This talk is about the paradoxical nature of inclusion for irregular migrants in cities. Maxime Felder examines how support is delivered, how it is experienced by different categories of irregular migrants, and how frontline social workers make sense of their work. The episode is based on ethnographic research with young North African irregular migrants in Geneva, Switzerland.

2023 Hybrid Academic & Policy Symposium by Centre for Migration Studies of New York. Join the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) for its annual Academic & Policy Symposium on November 14, 2023, from 10:00am – 5:00pm (ET). This hybrid event will take place at the law offices of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP (1 New York Plaza / 1 FDR Drive, New York, NY), with virtual access for those unable to attend in person. For those attending virtually, a link to join before the event date will be sent via email.